Jurgen Klopp backs fans protesting as long as it’s peaceful
Liverpool boss: ‘I am a believer in democracy. I am happy for people to tell their opinion’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp supported Manchester United fans’ right to protest at Old Trafford last weekend but felt the actions of some crossed the line. Photograph: Lee Smith/PA
Liverpool’s game at Manchester United last Sunday was postponed after protests at Old Trafford by United fans against their club’s owners, the Glazer family.
“I am a believer in democracy,” he said. “I am happy for people to tell their opinion . . . I heard police were injured and this should not happen. To break down doors and stuff. It was not completely peaceful and then it was not right anymore.”
Klopp also played down his side’s top-four chances and said winning their five remaining Premier League games might not be sufficient to secure a Champions League spot for next season.
Liverpool stormed to the Premier League title last season - after claiming the Champions League the previous season after back to back final appearances - but a campaign marred by a catalogue of injuries has left them seventh, seven points below the fourth and final Champions League place.
“I am not sure there is still a chance (for top four) but we will try and if there is one, we will be there for sure,” Klopp told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s home game against Southampton.
Klopp admitted his side had found it difficult to overcome serious injuries to the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and club captain Jordan Henderson among many others.
“People think it’s an excuse but we lost our full defence, it felt like we broke our leg,” he said. “You can limp but midfielders transformed to defenders and the spine was broke, then it’s difficult to move.
“But I always try to learn. That’s the plan, to use the experience for the future.”
Klopp said Henderson, who has not played since late February after undergoing surgery on a groin injury, had started running again but had not yet joined team training.