Monday 24 July 2017

Georginio Wijnaldum unfazed by Chelsea's winning run

Georginio Wijnaldum insists Liverpool are not concerned by Chelsea's record-equalling form
Georginio Wijnaldum insists Liverpool are not concerned by Chelsea's record-equalling form

Georginio Wijnaldum insists Chelsea's record-equalling winning run is not a concern for Liverpool but he hopes to be able to exert some pressure on Antonio Conte's side on Monday.

A 13th successive victory, tying Arsenal's effort in a single season from 2001-2002, maintained the Premier League leaders' six-point cushion at the top on Saturday.

However, by the time they kick-off again in midweek with a tricky test at Tottenham, their advantage could be cut to three if Liverpool can win at struggling Sunderland.

"They are flying right now and doing great but we have to focus on our own game and we will see if we come closer," said Wijnaldum.

"The main thing is to keep doing what we are doing now, win our own games and not look at Chelsea because we don't control that performance.

"Of course you always have to put pressure on an opponent. We just have to win the game. Will it put pressure on them? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not.

"Sunderland is a tough game as they also want to win because of the threat of relegation."

Wijnaldum has become an integral part of manager Jurgen Klopp's midfield since arriving in a £25million summer move from Newcastle.

At the time many fans questioned the signing and although the Holland international has not yet replicated the goalscoring exploits displayed for his former club, he has adapted well to a slightly different role in Klopp's plan.

Nevertheless, he maintains he can reach his pre-season target of 10 goals after scoring his second of the campaign in the 1-0 win over title rivals Manchester City at Anfield on Saturday.

"This is a different way of playing from my previous club but still I think I will reach that number," he added.

"I'll do everything but the most important thing is we win games.

"If I can help with my goals, even better for me and the team but if I don't score and play a good game I am still happy - but I still think I can do it this season.

"It was lucky I came early in the transfer window so I could go to the training camp early with the team and learn to play.

"That was important because if I came at the end of the window when the season had already started that would have been harder to settle in.

"I already have the feeling they (fans) appreciate me and support me so if I can support them back with goals it will make them happy also."

Liverpool have won four matches in a row helping them to their best halfway points tally (43) in a Premier League campaign, beating the previous best set in 2008-09 when they narrowly finished second to Manchester United.

There is a similar vibe developing around the club to that season and 2013-14 when they were pipped to the title by Manchester City and Wijnaldum admits they have to use the positive energy and the belief Klopp is instilling in them.

"Every game we have to give 100 per cent and show how good we are," said the midfielder.

"We can go far but we have to show it game by game. It is going well now but we don't know how it will be going in two months so we must make sure we go all the time.

"I was not here before Klopp came so I can't give my opinion on how the football has changed but in my opinion it is great to work under the manager.

"He gives players a happy feeling to play for Liverpool. What he wants is that we have joy in the things we do - training, games - and that is important for a footballer.

"He does not do a lot special, just gives us the confidence we need, the confidence in our own quality and that we are a good team."

Wijnaldum is friendly with fellow Dutchman Quincy Promes, the Spartak Moscow winger who has been linked with a move to Anfield.

The Liverpool midfielder admits he would like to see his compatriot join him on Merseyside but stressed that was a decision for Klopp.

"I think he knows how great Liverpool is - I knew it before I came here," he said.

"I don't know if everything is true about what they say as I don't speak with him about that but of course I want him to come to Liverpool because I know he is a good player and also a good person who can help the team.

"But it is something for the manager and the scouts, not for me."

Press Association

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