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Jürgen Klopp criticises England for playing Jordan Henderson in Lithuania | Football

Jürgen Klopp has criticised Gareth Southgate’s use of Jordan Henderson during the international break and claimed it made “no sense” to play the Liverpool captain against Lithuania.

Henderson played the entirety of England’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania, much to the displeasure of the Liverpool manager, who believes the midfielder’s recent injury problems should have seen him rested for the win in Vilnius.

Klopp, who is also unhappy at the lack of preparation time for Liverpool and Manchester United before their early meeting at Anfield on Saturday, believes Southgate should have shown more consideration to Henderson’s fitness issues with England already qualified for the World Cup when they played on Sunday.

“England played a friendly game on an artificial surface – it was a qualification game but they had already qualified – and I was not happy that Hendo was on the pitch to be honest with all the problems he’s had in the past,” Klopp said. “It made no sense. We [club managers] cannot be involved in this. They [international managers] all make their own decisions. Sometimes I really wish we could have had more time to make preparations for such an important game. But is our job and the same for the other team so let’s go.”

Klopp will be without the influential Sadio Mané against United, and for the next six weeks, after the Senegal striker suffered a hamstring injury on international duty.

“Obviously we can still play football without Sadio as we have had to do this in the past – much more than we would have wanted,” the manager said. “He is the highest-quality player and has been very unlucky with injury. A lot of players in this international break from different teams had injuries – it is a big problem with change of training and a different rhythm. That is always a problem and you hope nothing will happen. On this occasion it was Sadio but no one else thankfully. We can play without him even if we would love to have him in the lineup.”

Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino arrived back at Melwood from Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers only on Thursday but Klopp is confident both will be fresh to face United. He said: “The club has done everything to bring the boys back. We worked really close with other clubs in this region to bring all the South American players home together. They both had a long flight, even if it was pretty comfortable I am sure. I was not in the plane but I can imagine as I saw the price.”


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