Jurgen Klopp stands by rotation, says Mohamed Salah taken off due to injury

Klopp defends fiery Merseyside post-match interview (1:13)

Jurgen Klopp insisted he would have no hesitations in giving the same Merseyside post-match interview again. (1:13)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he took off Mohamed Salah early in the Merseyside derby to prevent further injury, as he defends his decision to rotate over the busy festive period.

Salah, who broke the deadlock in the Sunday's 1-1 draw with Everton, was substituted in the 67th minute at Anfield, with Klopp revealing the Premier League's top goal scorer was suffering with a hamstring issue.

Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino both started as substitutes on Sunday, which Everton boss Sam Allardyce said was a boost to Everton ahead of kickoff.

"I took Mo Salah off because he had a hamstring a little bit," Klopp told reporters. "Then everyone said: 'How can you take him off?' and stuff like this. I don't go out and say: 'Yeah, but he is close to being injured.' He is not at the moment, thank God. Hopefully we took him off early enough."

On rotating his players, Klopp added: "We have to do it. We had seven games in 21 games before Everton and now it's six games in 18 days. It is exactly the same. Nothing has changed. We need the best quality we can have for each game. We cannot ignore the number of games.

"The future of football will be much more rotation because no-one will take away games. It always becomes quicker, more intense, with more sprints, more high speed runs, less breaks and so many things. It is going in one direction and you have to react on it. We can't close our eyes and hope nothing happens. That is always how I saw it but you need the opportunity.

"Roberto and Phil could have played. Nobody told me to leave them out. Emre [Can] and Gini [Wijnaldum] as well, but nobody missed them. I really find it funny that we talk after this game about that. We did not speak after the 5-1 [win at Brighton] or the 3-0 [win at Stoke] when others didn't play.

"You are not really interested because in the moment when it works well it is really good, but the moment it doesn't work perfectly you ask questions. This is one game we should have won and they did not play. If we played it another 10 times we'd win."

Meanwhile, Joel Matip could return to action in time for Liverpool's games over Christmas.

Matip has missed the last three games with a muscular problem and will sit out Wednesday evening's encounter against West Brom, but he has resumed light training.

"It could be possible that Joel will be back for some of our Christmas games," Klopp said. "I really hope so but it's not for sure at this stage. The fact he's running again outside is a good sign. If nothing else happens then he will be close."