Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has inflamed his feud with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp by insisting he is to blame for his team’s injury crisis.
Incredibly, the Reds currently have 11 players on the sidelines, at least four of which are due to hamstring problems.
Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren were both forced off with hamstring injuries against Stoke in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup win, joining Martin Skrtel and Divock Origi with the same problem.
Sunderland boss Allardyce claims Klopp has underestimated the physical demands of the English game.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “That is him (Klopp) asking his players to play a high tempo pressing game from the top end.
“It’s great that the players have been able to carry it out but I think it has kicked in now.
“I don’t think Jurgen has realised just how ferocious our league is at this period of time. Because he has asked for that extra high energy, these lads are fatiguing now with so many games in such a short period of time and are picking up these muscle strains.
“They are highly-trained athletes more than ever before, and they become more susceptible to injuries by the amount of work they do in a game now.
“I still hark on about having a break at this time to lessen the workload on players.
“As a league and as a country we should look at helping the players along the way. Stoke played the same team for a fourth game in a row and the lads looked like they couldn’t run.”