Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has revealed he had to change his phone number ahead of the clash with Manchester United, not because he received a barrage of abuse, but because he was inundated with requests for tickets from family and friends.
The 28-year-old has been under the pump at Anfield following a series of performances which have left a lot to be desired, but come the conclusion of Saturday afternoon's game the Croatian will be no doubt be hoping to see ticket requests replaced with congratulation messages.
Speaking to BBC's Football Focus, Lovren revealed the build-up to the clash with the Reds fierce rivals forced him into action, as he said: “People talk straight away when they find out the fixtures at the beginning of the season. 'Ah we’ve got Man United in October.’
“Especially the last ten days, people just talk about this game and the demand for tickets is crazy. I wish I could give them away to everyone but it’s not possible.
When asked how many requests he had actually received Lovren replied: “More than 20. To be honest, I changed my number because of that but it’s something that when you play football, you want to play these games.”
It seems a relatively small number in comparison to the level of abuse he seems to be subject to across social media, but if it improves his level of performance then the Anfield faithful, and Jurgen Klopp are unlikely to bat an eye-lid at his decision.
After being tipped to be replaced by Virgil van Dijk through the summer, the 28-year-old has continued to be part of Klopp's first choice centre back pairing after Liverpool were unable to land the Dutch defender, as he has made seven appearances for the Reds so far this season.
However, he is part of a defence which has conceded the join third most goals in the league so far this season, a statistic which needs rectifying if he is to help lock out Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.