West Brom manager Slaven Bilic has backed Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder in his war of words with Jurgen Klopp.
The Liverpool head coach labelled Wilder “selfish” after refusing to change his mind on the reintroduction of five substitutes in the Premier League. Bilic says, though, Wilder is simply looking out for his own club:
“Chris isn’t selfish in a bad way, only in the way that we are all selfish. Because we all look after our own clubs. So Jurgen is selfish in that sense and so am I. We all want to protect the players. Chris wants to protect them, and look after the welfare of the players because this is the paradox – he can’t afford injuries and can afford them even less than some others. But when he puts it on the scale, he sees that three subs is better for his team.”
“We all want what is best for our clubs and our players, and we all fight for that. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s only normal from my point of view and as a far as I see it.”
The dispute between Wilder and Klopp is rather strange considering the mutual admiration that has been shown in the past but this issue, over the number of substitutions, has certainly led to a more frayed relationship between the pair.
Klopp is insisting teams are getting more injuries due to the hectic fixture schedule, and while Liverpool have certainly suffered the most with eight players currently sidelined, it is not the case for every team.
Both Chelsea and Manchester City currently have fully fit squads, despite the fact they are playing in the Champions League so Wilder certainly has a case for keeping the Premier League substitute limit to three.