Jurgen Klopp defended his call to replace Mohamed Salah in Liverpool’s loss to Chelsea and insisted he couldn’t make decisions based on the reaction it creates.
Klopp came under fire for his decision to hook the Egypt international after an hour as his side sought the equalizer.
Salah expressed his displeasure at being pulled out in the loss, which sentenced the Reds to a fifth straight league loss at home and the worst round in their history, shaking his head as he sat in the bleachers.
Klopp insists he removed the Premier League’s top scorer because he thought he felt the intensity of the game and although he admits he can’t guarantee there won’t come a time when he will have to discuss the matter with Salah, now is not the time.
“I’m not even sure this situation is now a reason for a ‘good talk’ about it,” he said.
“We’re 1-0, that doesn’t make any player happy. You go away and you react in different ways because you are not happy.
“You are substituted, you are a forward and you think you should stay on the pitch. It’s quite clear and it’s not a problem, it’s just a normal life.
“In the situation where you make a decision like that, he looked, to me, like he was feeling the intensity. He probably saw it completely differently and that’s fine.
“It’s not the most important thing in the world, maybe 30 minutes without Mo Salah is the reason he can play again on Sunday.
“We make these decisions in the moment and not with back thoughts, the only problem is that you just have to explain it after the game and the day after the game.
“These kinds of stories (rumors of doom) so far have not happened. I can’t vouch for the future and forever that will never happen, but those kind of talks we never had.
“It’s completely normal: I make a decision, the boys accept it, nobody feels that they have nothing to do with the situation and they are not responsible for it.
“I can’t help changing players just because it creates a story. You do it because you think it’s right at the moment.
Salah has scored 17 Premier League goals this season and only needs one more to score 25 for the season in all competitions for the third time in four seasons at Anfield.
While previously his tally has been supplemented by significant contributions from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, his fellow attackers are well below their usual numbers.
Mane is just 11 and Firmino six, while Diogo Jota – who made his comeback against Chelsea after a three-month absence with a knee injury – is nine.
Asked whether the responsibility of being the main goalscorer contributed to Salah’s frustration, Klopp added: “Absolutely possible, of course, but I don’t think for him it’s the pressure, I think. that he likes it.
“It’s not about that. Mo’s scoring record is absolutely exceptional again, especially when you look at the consistency.
“We all need to improve. Mo still has a great record and I’m sure everyone knows that and he even knows himself if he could have scored more goals.
“But that, Mo’s goal, is not our problem. But in general we have to improve 100%. “