Football: Liverpool's Klopp defends Lovren against press barbs

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks passes past Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, on Oct 22, 2017.
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks passes past Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, on Oct 22, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp likened press reaction to Dejan Lovren's performance against Tottenham in the Premier League to rubberneckers at a car crash on Friday (Oct 27).

The defender was substituted after only 31 minutes of Liverpool's 4-1 defeat having been culpable for both Spurs's first two goals.

After being asked for his reaction to Lovren deleting a reference to Liverpool from his Instagram biography and blocking incoming messages, Klopp hit out at the media.

The Reds boss, who must decide whether to play Lovren from the start against Huddersfield on Saturday, said: "I don't wish one of you to have your mistakes discussed in public. You cannot even imagine how it feels.

"The boys are in the first place still human beings but you look like you are watching an accident and you are the kind of people standing around with smartphones instead of helping. I'm not this kind of person.

"We had a normal week. Of course it's not the nicest week in Dejan's life but it's only football. People don't become a better or a worse person through making a mistake in a football game."

The Reds have won just one of their past six league games, slipping to ninth place in the table and Klopp has called on his side to be "confident" and "brave" against the Terriers at Anfield.

Much of the focus on Saturday will be on the managers, with Klopp facing best friend David Wagner on the touchline for the first time in a competitive game.

The pair were team-mates at Mainz in the early 1990s and Wagner managed Borussia Dortmund's second team while Klopp was in charge of the first team.

Klopp admitted he cried when Huddersfield earned promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs, but it will be business as usual at Anfield.

"It's exciting, 100 per cent," said Klopp. "I'm really happy that we will play against each other in the Premier League. Nobody would have expected that 20 or 30 years ago.

"When I was a kid I played all the time against my best friends and I enjoyed nothing more than winning. He is my best friend and we have a really close relationship but that changes nothing for the game.

"I want to win that game and that means we have to beat Huddersfield, and I know him well enough that he thinks exactly the same. Nothing we say to each other during the game will stay a second longer in our minds than the final whistle."

Liverpool could be without playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who is struggling with an adductor problem. Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana are both on course to return after next month's international break.