‘I always wanted to go to Wembley’: Jurgen Klopp says he has never disrespected the FA Cup as he prepares for his first quarter-final in his seventh season as Liverpool boss
- Liverpool visit Nottingham Forest in Jurgen Klopp’s first FA Cup quarter-final
- Klopp says he has never disrespected the cup despite a series of surprise exits
- Strength in depth has allowed the Reds manager to effectively rotate this season
- He hopes that Andy Robertson will not be used too much by Scotland next week
Jurgen Klopp is about to participate in his first FA Cup quarter-final but the German insists his previously poor record is down to tough draws and having a thinner squad rather than disrespecting the competition.
Even with Trent Alexander-Arnold injured and Mo Salah a major doubt, Klopp can name a strong team at Nottingham Forest as his Carabao Cup winners continue to chase an unprecedented Quadruple.
The Liverpool boss has never reached the business end of the competition before with surprise exits against West Ham, Wolves, West Brom, and defeats in the last two seasons away to Chelsea and Manchester United.
Jurgen Klopp will manage in his first ever FA Cup quarter-final against Nottingham Forest
‘My attitude to the FA Cup hasn’t changed, not at all,’ stresses Klopp. ‘I always wanted to go to Wembley. It just didn’t happen.
‘I ask the players for an awful lot but there comes a point when you have to take them out – that’s why we had changes.
‘We haven’t always had the best draw either. We didn’t ask to go to Chelsea or United in a situation where we didn’t have players.’
Klopp’s Liverpool have suffered a series of surprise exits from the competition in past seasons
Joe Gomez is set to play at right-back against Forest following Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury
Klopp’s strength in depth with big-money signings of Luis Diaz and Ibrahima Konate in the last two windows has allowed him to rotate more frequently without results suffering.
‘The mix between senior players and young ones makes a difference,’ he acknowledged.
Liverpool have conceded only five goals in 16 games and will be favourites to see off Championship opposition with England international Joe Gomez set to deputise for Alexander-Arnold who is out with a hamstring injury.
Klopp hopes that Andy Robertson won’t play the full game when Scotland meet Poland
‘We look better tuned in stopping goals,’ said Klopp. ‘At the start of the season we had one new centre back (Konate) and two who hadn’t played for a long time because of injury (van Dijk and Matip).’
Klopp is always concerned about the demands put on top players and he has expressed hope that Andy Robertson is not used for the full game when Scotland face Poland in a friendly next week.
Asked if he hopes Scotland boss Steve Clarke would show common sense in how Robertson would be used in the upcoming international break, Klopp replied pointedly: ‘Yes, very much.’