Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp, has insisted that he’s not capable of playing “mind games” like former Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Klopp was accused by former Premier League referee, Mark Clattenburg, of trying to copy Ferguson’s style after the German claimed United have had “more penalties in two years than I have had in five-and-a-half years.”
The Reds boss was speaking after their 1-0 loss at Southampton, when striker Sadio Mane had two penalty appeals turned down.
That defeat, coupled with United’s 1-0 win at Burnley in midweek, ensures that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team will travel to Anfield on Sunday ahead of Liverpool at the top of table, with hopes growing at Old Trafford of a first title success since Ferguson’s retirement as manager in 2013.
Ferguson won 13 Premier League titles and was notorious for playing so-called mind games, with well-timed comments against opposition managers and referees.
But after Clattenburg said this week that Klopp was attempting to use Ferguson’s methods to influence Sunday’s referee, Paul Tierney, the Anfield boss insisted such a move is not in his make-up.
“Am I surprised that somebody is talking about what I said? No. Am I surprised that Mark Clattenburg speaks about it? No,” Klopp said.
“I am not sure if he was asked a lot of things, but long after his career, it is nice for him that we can talk about him as well.
“But I am not Sir Alex and this is not mind games. After the Southampton game, we had another game [Aston Villa in the FA Cup] before United and I didn’t think for a second about the United game in that moment,” Klopp said.