Saturday 23 March 2019

Van Dijk pleads with fans not to let nerves affect Reds

Virgil van Dijk: ‘Everyone wants to win so bad and that’s what we want as well, but you need to be patient.’ Photo: Reuters
Virgil van Dijk: ‘Everyone wants to win so bad and that’s what we want as well, but you need to be patient.’ Photo: Reuters

Chris Bascombe

Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool must not make anxiety their enemy after their nervous draw with Leicester City on Wednesday.

While manager Jurgen Klopp and his players have shown few signs of pressure in their title battle with Manchester City, there was a palpable change in mood inside Anfield as Liverpool were held 1-1. What promised to be a celebratory atmosphere swiftly turned edgy as Leicester earned a point thanks to Harry Maguire's equaliser.

"It sounded like it," said Van Dijk, when asked about the fans' nervousness. "You get that feeling as well from the crowd and I think it's not really necessary at the moment. But obviously everyone wants to win so bad and that's what we want as well, but sometimes you need to be very patient.

"In the end, it's all about showing on the pitch and we're not going to be affected by that. We want everyone to cheer us on and keep pushing even if we have tough moments, even if we're 1-0 down or maybe more. We just need everyone to pull in the same direction and keep going, that's the only way forward."

Liverpool were not helped by an imbalanced line-up, with Jordan Henderson forced to play right-back. With Trent Alexander-Arnold still out, James Milner is set to occupy the role when he returns against West Ham on Monday.

Van Dijk was consoled Liverpool are in a better position now than before this week's fixtures. He said: "Disappointment is not the right word. Obviously, you want to win.

"We started amazingly with the goal from Sadio [Mané] and then it was a tough. The pitch was horrendous. It was full of ice, obviously, but they need to deal with that as well. At times we had our opportunities, we were dangerous, but in the end it wasn't enough to score a goal. There are so many games left, anything can happen."

© Daily Telegraph, London

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