Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp laughed off Sam Allardyce’s “soft German” jibe, joking he had been called much worse.
Sunderland boss Allardyce made the comment after Klopp reacted angrily to a challenge from Jeremain Lens on Mamadou Sakho in Wednesday night’s 1-0 Liverpool victory at the Stadium of Light.
Klopp stood by his claim that Lens should have been sent off rather than shown a yellow card for the tackle.
The Reds boss was in a jovial mood ahead of Saturday’s clash with West Ham, and said with a chuckle: “Maybe hammer is more my second name than soft.”
Responding to Allardyce, he said: “It’s absolutely not a problem. A lot of people have said worse things about me. Soft German, I think it’s the first time somebody said this about me, so (that’s) cool.
“If you see the situation again then you know that I was not too wrong in judging this moment. Mama is still alive and everything is okay but, in my opinion, situations like this had to be judged differently than other things.
“If you compare yellow cards in a game and think, ‘this is yellow’, then what’s this? That’s all I want to say. But I had no arguments with the bench of Sunderland.”
Had things worked out differently, Klopp could have been in the home dugout for Saturday’s clash at Upton Park.
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan revealed this week he approached Klopp in the summer about becoming Hammers boss but the German wanted a break after leaving Borussia Dortmund.
“In the summer I was not available,” said the German.
“I was sure I needed a few days for myself without thinking too much about football. That’s what I did.
“I’m a lucky guy so there was a lot of interest from different clubs. If West Ham will talk about this then they can do it. It’s a really good club but it was the wrong time for all the clubs, so nothing to do with West Ham or what I think about West Ham.”