Jurgen Klopp praised a “special game” after Liverpool beat Stoke 1-0, but the German bemoaned “two bad injuries” to his players.
Jordon Ibe scored the only goal at the Britannia Stadium to send Liverpool one step closer to a first cup final since the 2012 League Cup, with the second leg at Anfield on January 26.
But injuries to three separate players on the night represented a negative point for Klopp. Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren had to be substituted within 35 minutes due to hamstring injuries, while central defender Kolo Toure was visbily struggling in injury time.
“It’s a strange feeling,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “I’m proud as it was a perfect reaction from the last game.
“You saw it was a special game. A good game, lively, aggressive. Only 1-0 but of course we have two bad injuries and that’s why I’m not only lucky tonight.
“We now have three injured centre-halves and the only fit one got a cramp in the last minute.”
The German added, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: “The biggest problem for us is we have two and maybe three injured players again.
“Very frustrating. The problem is we had too many injuries, when the players come back others are injured. It is a cycle that needs to come out.
“We have no break, no recovery, Players who never had a problem had no problems in pre-season are fine, for all other players it is up and down.”