‘Klopp can call the dressing room at half time in Shrewsbury FA Cup clash’

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, who just last week declared that he and his first team would miss the FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town at Anfield on Tuesday, in favour of the new mid-season player break created by England’s Football Association (FA), will have the liberty to call in during the halftime break.

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The winter break began on February 2 and will run for two weeks until February 16. The Liverpool Under-23s coach, Neil Critchley, said Klopp could call in with a message at half-time, as he did during the crushing Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat at Aston Villa in December.

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Liverpool first-team players enjoy the Premier League winter break in Spain with an academy team set to line up against Shrewsbury Town in an FA Cup replay on Tuesday (Image: Sourced).

It was brilliant. Even though we were going off the pitch at half-time thinking, ‘We’ve played all right there but we’re getting beat 4-0’, it creates that element of doubt in your mind about whether you are doing the right thing and if you need to do something different.

Neil Critchley, Liverpool Under-23s coach

“So when you get a message from the manager saying, ‘Don’t change anything, carry on doing what you’re doing, you’ve been brilliant’, it just clears all that doubt in your mind and you can give that message to the players. The message killed every doubt, it settled them right down. It helped everyone at that moment. That [same] option is available on Tuesday, but that’s up to the manager.”

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Liverpool’s Brazilian star Fabinho and his wife Rebecca Tavares bask in some sun while Jürgen Klopp’s men enjoy the Premier League’s new mid-season break away from home (Image: Sourced).

Tuesday will be the second time Critchley has overseen a first-team match this campaign after the 5-0 defeat at Villa while Klopp was with the senior squad at the Club World Cup in Qatar. Liverpool also previously fielded a young side in the FA Cup third-round win over Everton.

Liverpool are expected to field a similar team to the one that played against Villa – which had an average age of 19 years and 182 days. Meanwhile, Shrewsbury are expecting to take more than 5 000 fans to Anfield, in the hope of causing an upset and setting up a trip to Chelsea in the fifth round.