'We don't want to be in trouble!' – Klopp admits pressure forced Liverpool's fixture backflip

The Reds boss was originally adamant his team would not have their schedule compromised, but has revealed why he changed his mind

Liverpool’s agreement to force the Carabao Cup quarter-final into their packed fixture schedule was because of pressure from football’s governing bodies, says coach Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds confirmed on Tuesday that they will play both their last-eight cup clash at Aston Villa and their Club World Cup semi-final clash in Qatar within the space of a day – by using two squads across the December 17-18 dates.

Klopp had originally vowed to withdraw from the Carabao Cup if it a suitable date could be found, but speaking after Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Genk in the Champions League, the German coach revealed that he didn’t want to get on the bad side of FIFA and the EFL.

When asked if Liverpool were pressured into the situation, Klopp said: “Kind of. Do you want to be really in trouble with FIFA? No. Do we want to be in trouble with the EFL? Probably not!

“We respect the competition. It sounds like we don’t like the Carabao Cup, which is not true.”

Klopp implored football’s governing bodies to plan for fixture congestion in the future and singled out the Carabao Cup semi-finals and FA Cup replays as a source of problems.

“I think you should think about things like this before we start,” he said.

“Every year we do the same and people think it’s funny that a team has to play five games in three days.

“What I don’t like is that it’s two legs in the semi-final. I don’t understand that and I don’t like that in the busiest period. 

“It’s not only the Carabao Cup. If you have a rematch [replay] in the FA Cup, which I don’t like, and you go through to the final of the Carabao Cup – we had that [situation] three years ago when we played West Ham and everybody was in front of the television hoping that we don’t go through.

“You cannot work like this, hoping that somebody goes out and everything is fine.”

Liverpool’s victory over Genk sent them top of Group E on nine points – one ahead of Napoli, who struggled to a 1-1 draw with Salzburg.

The Reds can confirm their qualification for the knockout stage with two points from their last two group games against Napoli and Salzburg.

Currently sitting top of the Premier League, the Reds face Manchester City at Anfield on Monday, looking to extend their six-point lead over their opponents in the standings.

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