Jürgen Klopp offered his congratulations to Shrewsbury Town after they fought back from two goals down to hold Liverpool to a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, acknowledging his side were far from their best.

The Reds made 11 changes for the tie at New Meadow, but went into the lead after 15 minutes when Curtis Jones applied the finishing touch to Pedro Chirivella’s threaded pass.

An own goal from Donald Love doubled the visitors’ advantage inside the opening minute of the second half; however, Shrewsbury staged a dramatic fightback as substitute Jason Cummings struck twice – once from the penalty spot – to force an Anfield replay.

Read on for a summary of what Klopp told reporters in his post-match press conference…

On the result and Liverpool’s performance…

First and foremost, I have to say congratulations to Shrewsbury because it was well deserved. It was the minimum of what they deserved with the chances they had. Why they had the chances is because we lost the ball in the wrong moments and we played a few difficult passes which were difficult to control. We never got used to the pitch 100 per cent today. In the game, we scored a wonderful goal for 1-0 – really good football, a really nice goal – and then we got the present when they scored our second goal after half-time. But it didn’t calm the game down or whatever, we conceded the penalty after losing the ball, a counter-attack and then it’s a penalty. The second goal, we lose two challenges in a row and they finished the situation off brilliantly. That’s it.

On the game being a typical FA Cup tie…

It’s a cup game and that’s how it should be. It’s absolutely right. We had to do better, but Shrewsbury did really well and that’s what I can say. It’s exactly like it is. The atmosphere over the 95 minutes was really good, but we brought Shrewsbury up and the crowd up with the way we played and that’s what we have to admit. For us, not a wonderful football game.

On the replay falling during the club’s Premier League winter break…

Look, our situation is the following: we have known that for a couple of weeks it is like this. Actually, we knew it a bit longer because it was always clear when we came through into the next round it would be like this. In April 2019, we got a letter from the Premier League where they asked us to respect the winter break, not to organise international friendlies and not to organise competitive games in respect of it. I have said to the boys already, two weeks ago, that we will have a winter break, so it means we will not be there – it will be the kids who play that game because they cannot deal with us like nobody cares about it. I know it is not very popular, but that’s the way I see it and, how I said, the Premier League asked us to respect the winter break and that’s what we do. If then the FA do not respect it then we cannot change. But we will not be there.

On whether Neil Critchley will manage the team in the replay…

Exactly.

On the importance of his first-team squad getting a rest during the upcoming winter break…

It’s a winter break and maybe I could find the letter [from the Premier League]: it’s exactly like that, we have to respect it, to respect the players’ welfare and they need a rest – mental rest, physical rest. That’s what the winter break is about and then another competition tells us it’s not that important, so we had to make these decisions before because the boys have family and the international players like Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, all these guys they have never [time] off so this is the week. I said in the moment it was clear there would be a winter break months ago, before I knew the FA Cup could come in between, then we would respect it and we do.

On how long the first-team squad will be ‘off’...

One week. They don’t have it ‘off’, they train but for themselves. They have running programmes, they have fitness programmes, that’s all they do. They never have ‘off’ time [but] they don’t come to Melwood and they don’t play football.

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