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Liverpool boss Klopp refuses to back down on FA Cup row: It would be wrong

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp refuses to back down in his row with football authorities over England's first winter break.

Klopp will skip the FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town, along with his players, as they take a winter break.

Some view the decision as disrespectful to both Shrewsbury and the FA Cup but Klopp defended his position on Tuesday.

He said: "I decided three weeks ago we would have a mid-season break based on a letter we got in April 2019. I don't want to be in the middle of these discussions.

"If people think I am lazy because I am not there, I cannot change that and I'm not interested. I just feel responsible for my players. If we find a way to play it then nothing will change and we have to change it.

"I am not a revolutionary guy. My responsibility is to my players. If we react like we always react - 'okay we have to do it' - nothing will change and everyone in football agrees something has to change."

Despite the outcry over Klopp's position on the matter, he insists Liverpool will still be trying their utmost to win the game on February 4 and send the side through to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the quarter-finals.

He went on: "I feel sorry for Shrewsbury. After the game, everyone spoke about what I said and not the performance of Shrewbury. We want to go to the next round, that's still the case. It's not that we gave up.

"It's not that I want to make popular decisions, I have to make decisions on the situation we are in. The FA tried to move games to midweek to decrease intense period. Whoever was involved in that, maybe from us they forgot to say no.

"They gave us two weeks and it was not clear which week. We cannot have a week off and say 'OK, there are two days to prepare for CL game'.

"Because we plan long term, I cannot plan when there is a real decisive period coming up. I am not sure who was there in the discussions but no sporting people were there for the talks. This week is the break.

"Our players train [while away] just not here at Melwood. We had to make a decision and I have. Now it looks like people want something different.

"Could I be here for it? Of course, but it is a misunderstanding of coaching. I cannot just show up for it within two days. They need their coach and that is Neil Critchley.

"It would be easy now to say I will be there and everyone will be happy but that is the wrong statement."

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Paul Vegas

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