Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is facing yet another defensive crisis ahead of another all-important Premier League fixture at the weekend as Dejan Lovren was the latest defensive casualty after the Croatian international suffered a hamstring injury in the FA Cup defeat to Wolves.
Klopp's post-match press conference was soured as Lovren was subbed after six minutes to join Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in the German managers growing defensive injury nightmares.
The Reds boss was even forced to call up and hand a debut to 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever - who became the clubs third youngest debutant - which leaves Klopp worrying over his shortages at the back ahead of Saturday's trip to Brighton.
“I don’t know. You have to wait. I want to know, believe me, but I don’t know in this moment,” Klopp stated. “It is a hamstring injury - without any signs before.”
With Virgil van Dijk given a much needed night off it was Lovren who drew the short straw following the gruelling Christmas period.
Klopp even attributed to the setback to Lovren by stating he never initially planned to start the World Cup finalist from the off, but an injury to Adam Lallana thwarted his initial plans.
“I made the line-up for different reasons. After the City game we immediately had a few players who were ill, showed sore throats and all that you can have in this period of the year,” said Klopp.
“Pretty much all the players not here today had little problems, apart from Alisson. We had to make late changes. Yesterday, Adam was in our plans, like Hendo. Dejan was not in the plans - he should have only been on the bench. It happened what happened. It doesn't help a lot. Then we had to change again.
“I am sure some very smart people tell me I do not respect the competition.”
Common sense rather than disrespect from Klopp following nine changes
It proved to be common sense rather than disrespect to the world's oldest knockout competition as Klopp took on the theory of managers being compelled to make wholesale changes in the FA Cup by saying: “It’s like this. The third round was here last year, the year before, the year before.
"You all want this number of games so don’t ask me if it is right or not. That’s the number of games we have to play, so far we have been very successful but today we lost, because we had to make changes.
Not only that, of course, but the opponents scored two goals. That’s the story of the night.”
The Reds reassembled line-up had nine changes from the team that was defeated at the Etihad to resemble a complete contrast of the side who currently sits pretty at the summit of the Premier League.
“We are not here to break the world record for the youngest team. It is possible they can play much better than tonight,” said Klopp.
“They are in the squad because they are good enough. They did well, but they can do better. I know they can do much better.
“All we see is my responsibility. It is about rhythm and they had no rhythm. That does not help. We played here two weeks ago and Wolves are strong. They did not change a lot. I changed a lot because we had to, not because I want to. We have played a similar line-up in the last few games.”