Jurgen Klopp has said the FA are treating players like horses after Jordan Rossiter was injured on England duty.
New Liverpool boss Klopp displayed his dismay at the club’s press conference on Wednesday, saying: “If you handle players like horses, then they will become horses,” after youngster Rossiter returned to Melwood last week with a hamstring problem after playing three times in five days for England’s Under-19s.
Klopp confirmed he will seek an explanation from the Football Association, but did not want to cause a fuss on his first day in the job, however he has made it clear he is unhappy about the situation.
“[Jordan] Rossiter is a special story, I’ve never heard a player at 19 years having to play three games in five days. Now we have to wait for him,” said Klopp, whose men face Rubin Kazan on Thursday at Anfield.
“It’s too much. What can we say? Three days in five days, football is ninety minutes. If you are young maybe you’re more resistant but that is not normal.
“I have to talk to somebody. We are in contact, I didn’t want to call somebody at the FA on my first day but this is not okay.
“He has a hamstring injury and it was because of the match. These young players are our future, if we handle them like horses than they will be horses.
“It’s normal in England three games in five days? At Christmas I know, two games in two days!”
As if to emphasise the point Klopp insists he is not a slave to the 100 per cent, flat-out running dogma which people associate with his football as he is just as concerned about players’ fitness.
The German’s methods from his first match in charge at Tottenham – in which the Reds ran a combined 116 kilometres, by far their furthest of the season – have been the subject of much analysis.
There is already a debate about whether his team will be able to sustain that in a Premier League season when there are also European demands.
But Klopp stressed it was not the necessarily the requirement every game
“The biggest misunderstanding in my life is people ask me if it is possible to play this kind of football,” he added.
“We don’t have to run 115km only to be successful. We need healthy players but we don’t kill the players.
“You don’t have to run like crazy if you have the ball. It is only the start.
“We must know turn the screws in the right moment; better thinking, better timing.
“But if play a much better team and you are not ready to run more than them then you are crazy.”
Klopp arrives with Lucas. https://t.co/NxlCNf5HJv
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Klopp is likely to make changes to his side for the Europa League visit of Russians Rubin Kazan as he is holding back the likes of striker Sturridge, who sat out the draw at White Hart Lane with a knee problem, for Sunday’s visit of Southampton.
“Rotation is okay if your players can handle the situation,” he added.
“You can leave a few players out on the pitch and the others have to swim for their lives, which is not okay.
“We cannot bring (Christian) Benteke and (Roberto) Firmino back for starting, for example.
“If all the players are fit and you have been working for a while then you can think about it.”
Klopp’s home debut is one of the most eagerly-anticipated in the club’s history but the German sought to manage expectations.
“We have to be patient, in a football way. I hope no-one is waiting for it to be 4-0 after three minutes and is then disappointed,” he said.