Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool Won't Listen to Pundits 'From Manchester United' in UCL

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2019

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 12:  head coach Juergen Klopp of Liverpool looks on during the Liverpool FC Press Conference at Allianz Arena on March 12, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has dismissed comments from Gary Neville, in which he suggested exiting the UEFA Champions League would aid their Premier League title push. 

The Reds travel to Bayern Munich on Wednesday in the last 16, having drawn 0-0 at Anfield in the first leg.

Per ESPN FC's Mark Ogden, when asked if progressing past Bayern would help their domestic efforts, he said:

"I don't think any other manager in the world other than the Liverpool manager would be asked this question when they are playing a Champions League game. The pundits come from Manchester United and start this thing!

"That is how it is. You also ask us in the FA Cup or Carabao Cup if it is better that we don't win.

"We won't see it like this. In the cups, we wanted to go through and we didn't, but we want to win this game.

"The whole world is watching tomorrow night, but we want to be focused on this game. Even if it harms us [by winning], we could not change it."

The German also believes that beating Bayern could give his side momentum:

Virgin Media Sport @VMSportIE

"I wish these guys would try to prove their ideas in real life, and not just in a studio." Jurgen Klopp wasn't happy with Gary Neville's suggestion that #LFC being knocked out of the Champions League would be a good thing for their Premier League hopes... #UCL #VMSport https://t.co/440GNNSuNp

On the Gary Neville Podcast, the former Manchester United star and Sky Sports pundit had said: "I'm going to say it: go out against Bayern Munich. That sounds like madness. Of course, you'd never play to lose a game, but it will be in Liverpool's favour if they have a clean run as they can get everyone fresh."

Fellow pundit and Liverpool legend Graeme Souness disagreed with Neville's assessment:

Virgin Media Sport @VMSportIE

"When Gary said it, I didn't understand it. I still don't understand it." 🤔 Graeme isn't having @GNev2's suggestion that Liverpool being knocked out of the Champions League would be a blessing in disguise for them in the Premier League title race. #UCL #VMSport https://t.co/CQj8HkXuVD

The Reds went out of the FA Cup in the third round against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Klopp's team selection—which largely consisted of back-up players and youngsters—made it clear he had prioritised the Premier League, though he was also coming off a gruelling festive period of nine fixtures in the space of a month.

Since Liverpool's FA Cup exit, they've played six matches fewer in all competitions than title rivals Manchester Citywho also had the business end of the Carabao Cup to deal with.

Liverpool should be physically fresher and less fatigued mentally as a result, but it hasn't helped their efforts so far as they've drawn four of their last seven league games.

A Champions League exit would mean even more rest during the run-in, but there's no guarantee it would improve their results.