Lessons learned and strong team bond will drive on Liverpool – Robertson
Andy Robertson claims Liverpool fell short in the Premier League title race to “a world-class team” in Manchester City.
Defender Andy Robertson believes the “tight-knit” nature of the Liverpool squad will keep them together for years to come as they seek to overcome title rivals Manchester City.
The Scotland captain warned the back-to-back champions the Reds are “here to stay” when it comes to contesting domestic honours, and believes the group Jurgen Klopp has assembled can remain united as they attempt to do that.
“We are a tight-knit group, a young group, so hopefully we will be here for many years and we will be a better team in terms of maturity and experience next year,” said the left-back.
“Whether we can put in the performances remains to be seen but we hope we can.
“It is an incredible squad and I love being a part of it. I am sure we have learned a lot of lessons this season, and we just need to take that into next.
“Fingers-crossed we don’t lose anyone. We are a tight group and we don’t want to lose anyone. We will go into next season as strong as ever.”
With a second successive Champions League final to come, fellow defender Virgil Van Dijk said he felt it was the beginning of something special at Anfield.
"It was a great title race and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it."@VirgilvDijk's desire to lift the @ChampionsLeague trophy has been fuelled further by #LFC narrowly missing out on the @premierleague title...https://t.co/n7EZBhSVa4— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 13, 2019
Van Dijk also referenced the spirit within the club as a whole, and the relationship the players have with supporters as being key to that success.
“With the level we have shown this season, the consistency we have, we have to build on it, try to do it again next season,” said Van Dijk. “That’s what we all aim for, and I am looking forward to it already.
“There is a togetherness we have throughout the whole club. It is also the connection we have with the fans that helps us through tough, tough moments, through tough games.
“The fans will always be there and that’s is a special thing to know, and one of the big reasons I joined Liverpool.”
City manager Pep Guardiola conceded Liverpool had given them their toughest test in pushing them all the way to the final day, forcing them to win their final 14 league matches to finish on 98 points and edge out their north-west rivals by a single point.
Liverpool finished 25 points ahead of third-placed Chelsea and 31 in front of sixth-placed Manchester United.
“Man City know, hopefully, we are here to stay,” added Robertson. “We know they are definitely here to stay, they are incredible.
“There have been ups and not many downs. It’s been a very good season for us and we have just fallen short to a world-class team.
“Ninety-seven points wins every single league apart from last season so if we do that again we will keep knocking on the door and we won’t be far off it.
“Man City were 14 games unbeaten and for them to do that without dropping a point was incredible. Fair play to them.
“All the teams have to catch us as there was quite a gap between second and third.
“They all need to come up to us, and if they do, it will be an incredible title race next season.”
Robertson insists disappointment at not ending a 29-year wait for the league will not affect preparations for the Champions League final against Tottenham on June 1 in Madrid.
“We need a couple of days to probably get over this and then it will be forgotten about because we can’t dwell on it,” he said.
One. More. Game. ✊🔴 pic.twitter.com/jFOLqL0T1f— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 13, 2019
“We have the Champions League to play for. Everything else is forgotten about.
“In my opinion, it won’t be thought of that we came second in the Premier League and all that nonsense.
“There is no bigger game to get yourself up for: a Champions League final against Tottenham will be incredible.”