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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp sorry for Chris Hughton row at Brighton

LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp has played down an apparent disagreement with Brighton manager Chris Hughton at the end of Liverpool's 5-1 win at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, calling it a "misunderstanding."

Footage appeared to show that Hughton was angered by Klopp's behaviour when he did not immediately shake hands at the final whistle.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League tie with Spartak Moscow, in which Liverpool need a point to secure qualification, Klopp said: "Nobody asked me after the game, so I could have killed the discussion immediately.

"I have to apologise -- not that I did something wrong on purpose, it just happened. I wanted to go to Chris and shake his hand, and then Mo Salah passed my way and I gave him a hug.

"Then Chris, I don't know, wasn't too happy about that in this moment. We shook hands and then he said what he thought -- and what I think as well -- that you have to shake the hand of the manager first. But it was not on purpose.

"After the game I wanted to see him. He was not there, but I spoke to his assistants and, I hope, everything is fine.

"I was, for sure, one or two times in my life disrespectful, but I would never be in a moment like this. It makes absolutely no sense. It was not my intention."

Meanwhile, Klopp will be able to select centre-backs Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan against Spartak after neither played at Brighton due to illness, although Joel Matip and Adam Lallana are both sidelined.

Liverpool's shortage of centre-halves meant Klopp had to field a makeshift three-man defence consisting of Dejan Lovren and midfielders Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum on the south coast.

"They are much better," the manager said of Gomez and Klavan. "They were in training yesterday and I expect them in training today. Ragnar and Joe are back and Joel Matip not and Adam Lallana not."

Sadio Mane was also absent at the weekend, having not started the draw with Chelsea last month but played in the midweek win at Stoke.

Mane accepted that Klopp would need to rotate his squad during a busy run of fixtures and added: "Honestly, each player in the world would love to play every single week.

"But we are Liverpool and we have good players, so we have to accept the decision of the coach and respect your teammates and the club. Always the team is first."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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