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    Sunday, 22 November 2020

    Jurgen Klopp calls for Premier League action after Liverpool get support for change

    Jurgen Klopp says most Premier League managers now support a switch to five substitutions and calls for action

    Jurgen Klopp.

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has called on Premier League clubs to act after revealing there is overwhelming agreement among managers for a return to five substitutions this season.

    Clubs were allowed to replace five players from a bench of nine for the closing weeks of last term following the three-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    While most other leading leagues, European competition and international games have continued the FIFA-backed change for another campaign, Premier League clubs twice voted to revert to the regular use of three substitutions per game.

    However, the EFL opted this week to change back to five substitutions in the light of a growing number of injuries prompted by the condensed calendar and intense schedule due to the late start to the campaign.

    And Klopp explained that a meeting between Premier League managers on Wednesday has seen the majority now concur with his consistent demand for five substitutions to be allowed.


    "We need help from outside," said the Reds boss. "I'm not talking about us as Liverpool, but we have to make changes with the subs again. We have to talk about the fixture list, and those kind of things.

    "Our hands from a specific point are tied. At Christmas we will play probably again twice in 48 hours and people will say I'm talking about it again, and while from a physical point of view it is possible (to play those games) it is really dangerous.

    "Thank God we had the managers' meeting and if we would have voted that day, it would have been 15-5 in favour of five subs.

    "We couldn't vote as managers aren't allowed to do that, but it has gone from 11-9 in favour of three subs to 15-5 in favour of five.

    "Now, hopefully, those making the decisions can make the next steps."

    Klopp's concerns over player welfare have been publicly echoed by the likes of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and West Ham United's David Moyes, although Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is among those in opposition.

    And Klopp added: "I take it really seriously when we talk about dementia and concussion with heading. But if people had spoken seriously about it 50 years ago, these people wouldn't have to be talking about it today.

    "Now we are talking about a situation where players are more under threat than before because of the situation the whole world is in. We have to make sure we help as much as we can.

    "We have to talk about these things otherwise nothing will change and things have to change."

    Liverpool are expected to be without at least six first-team regulars for Sunday's visit of Premier League leaders Leicester City.

    Klopp, though, is confident the Reds won't be hoodwinked by players pushing themselves too far and leaving themselves susceptible to injury.

    "But I've said it before, if you ask a player, then as long as he can walk then he wants to play.

    "That's good. My job is to find out which player underestimates the situation or overestimates himself."

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