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Klopp has 'every right' to res...
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Klopp has 'every right' to rest players for FA Cup replay | Brendan Rodgers

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

16:24 27 Jan 2020

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is backing Jurgen Klopp over his decision to field a second-string team in the FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury Town.

The Liverpool manager revealed after yesterday's 2-2 third round draw with the Shrews that he will be strictly adhering to a Premier League directive, that the new winter break has to be respected.

The replay at Anfield is fixed for February 5 or 6 and Klopp insists that he and his players will be taking time off, as planned, while the club's under-23 team manager Neil Critchley will take charge of the team for the game.

While the German has come in for some criticism over his stance, he has received support from his fellow Premier League manager.

"He's well within his rights to do that," said Rodgers. "That's why you have your first-team squad and you have reserve players and you have youth players.

"I said a while back that the loading that's put on players and the pressure that's put on players over December, the Christmas period, that this week was designed, it's not really a break, but it's something at least for the players to have and to go away and recover a little bit.

"So to then organise the replays in that [week], was ridiculous.

"Jurgen is within his rights to pick whatever team he wants to pick and if he's going to decide to rest up all his players for the benefit of the club, because that's who he's employed by, then that's what he does and he has every right to do that."

The Foxes have no such worries having knocked Brentford out at the weekend but immediately their focus turns to the EFL Cup semi-final tie against Aston Villa.

The Villains host the second leg tomorrow night with the tie all square at 1-1 but Leicester could be boosted by the return of top-scorer Jamie Vardy who tweaked his glute in action against West Ham last week.

At today's press conference, Rodgers pulled back as he was about to say the former England international is fine but then revealed that will be making the trip to Villa Park.

"He's in the squad," said Rodgers. "He's worked very hard since his injury last, midweek.

"We'll give it another full day, see how he is tomorrow, [to see] whether he starts or comes off the bench. He'll certainly have a part to play."

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