Calm Klopp bears no bitterness towards Burnley ahead of return Clarets clash
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he has “no bad feelings” about Burnley despite a fractious encounter the last time they met.
Following the 3-1 win at Turf Moor in early December, Klopp was outspoken in his criticism of the Clarets’ physical approach which left defender Joe Gomez with a fractured leg from which he has still not recovered.
He described the manner of Burnley’s tackling like 10-pin bowling “because you get the player as well”.
“Six or seven yards and then (slide) – these times are over. Somebody has to tell you to stop doing it, make two more steps and make a normal challenge,” he said at the time.
It sparked a row with Sean Dyche, a manager Klopp admires for the work he has done at Turf Moor, but the Reds boss said that had all now been forgotten.
“There is nothing to say about that any more,” Klopp said. “I say what I said at the time, nearly three months ago.
“We are human beings, we react in the moment. I made a lot of mistakes in my life, and most of the time I regret them.
“For me, the game is a special situation and in different circumstances, you can imagine what is said in and around the game.
“From my point of view, I don’t think there is anything to regret but I’m not sure. I have no bad feelings about that game because of something which happened in the past.
“It was an injury, it happened then and he (Gomez) is still not playing. That is all you can say.”
For the first time since December Liverpool have surrendered the title initiative to Manchester City, who are a point ahead, and who play 24 hours beforehand at home to Watford.
Klopp sees no reason to change. “We never thought about what the other teams were doing. The plan is clear: we have to win football games,” he added.
“City play on Saturday, so we will know the result before we start so there is no reason to make a big fuss.
“We are in a position we like to be in, it is not a problem. We wanted to be in a position to fight for the top spot in the league and we are still in it and that is all we need to be positive and optimistic.
“Our only problem this weekend is Burnley and that is enough.”
Forward Mohamed Salah is still waiting to score his 50th league goal for the club. If he manages the feat on Sunday he will equal Alan Shearer’s record of achieving it for a single club in 66 matches.
He missed a couple of chances against Everton he would probably have taken last season but Klopp is unconcerned.
“We didn’t really speak about it or whatever because it’s completely normal,” he said.
“Of course, when you are a striker or offensive player and you have chances in the game, you want to score with them in the game – that’s clear.
“But as a manager, I’m more than used to that players don’t score all the time. That’s how it is.
“He has an unbelievable record. His goals brought us where we are – not only (his goals), but it was a big part of it.”