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Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at Ashton Gate, Birmingham. Picture date: Wednesday January 4, 2023.

Julen Lopetegui insists ‘no excuses’ vs. Liverpool despite anger at fixtures

Julen Lopetegui insists Wolves have no excuses at Liverpool – despite his frustration at the schedule.

The manager is unhappy the hosts have had two more days to prepare for Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash at Anfield.

Wolves drew 1-1 at Aston Villa on Wednesday after Liverpool lost 3-1 at Brentford 48 hours earlier.

“They have had five days, I prefer not to repeat it. We have to be ready. Despite the situation we have to prepare for the cup in the best way we can,” he said.

“It’s very important but Liverpool have had two days more to prepare and rest.

“We have another match in three days [after] with the Carabao Cup. We have to be able to do a good match against one of the best teams in the world.

“It’s not our responsibility, we have to play, I have commented it is different in the league. In the cup you don’t have a second chance, it’s not balanced but it’s not our responsibility.

“Maybe we can work normally because a lot of players have to recuperate but tomorrow we will be ready to try to beat one of the best teams in the world. They have an incredible squad. It’ll be a good challenge for us.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 13, 2022: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rúben Neves during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Goodison Park. Wolverhampton Wanderers won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto remain out for Wolves with Lopetegui expected to make changes and new striker Matheus Cunha is in the running to start.

No new signings are expected before the Anfield trip and skipper Ruben Neves has again been linked with Barcelona, but Lopetegui insists his only concern is reinforcements.

“We are not thinking about the possibility about moving out players, we are thinking about the possibility of bringing them in,” he said.

“I understand the interest in the transfer window but our interest is only for the match. Ruben Neves is a fantastic player, he is a Wolves player and he will continue being a Wolves player.

“Ask me 100 times, it’s the same. Our focus is on the match tomorrow.”