Saturday 14 December 2019

Toure - Pain will make us stronger

Kolo Toure, left, believes the pain of missing out on the Premier League title this season will drive them on in the next campaign
Kolo Toure, left, believes the pain of missing out on the Premier League title this season will drive them on in the next campaign

Liverpool defender Kolo Toure believes the pain of missing out on a first league title for 24 years will make the Reds players stronger and give them a better chance of ending their drought next season.

Having had destiny in their own hands with three matches to go after winning 11 games in a row the Reds dropped four points to hand the initiative to Manchester City, who duly completed a second championship in three seasons on the final day..

A second-placed finish can still be considered a success, however, as it secured Liverpool Champions League football for the first time since 2010.

Toure, who has had to watch from the sidelines for most of the second half of the campaign after making a promising start to his Liverpool career, believes the experience gained this season will be of benefit in the long run.

"I think we did everything we could and at the end City won it," he said.

"The most important thing was that we have been fighting until the end.

"We will learn from the mistakes we made and next year we will be better.

"Nobody expected us to be where we are but we lacked a little bit of experience and that is why I think we will gain experience.

"We will gain experience by making those mistakes and losing the title like we did.

"I am sure that will give us the strength to better next year."

Asked what the difference between Liverpool and City was in the end Toure added: "Experience. They had won the Premier League already and for us at the crucial time we made a few bad decisions which is part of the game.

"This is football. You need to have bad times to have good times after and you learn from the bad times and you can improve when you get to the situation where you need to make a better decision.

"What we showed to everyone is that we have the quality to fight for the league."

Playing in the Champions League next season will mean repeating the feat is all the more difficult even with an improved squad.

Those European commitments may mean there is still a future for Toure, for whom the majority of his 15 league starts came before Christmas.

"It is going to be tough for sure but this team have got experience now for what happened this season and I think that the manager knows what he needs to do," added Toure, who is hoping to go to this summer's World Cup with Ivory Coast.

"If I have the chance to stay, for sure. For me I just enjoy my time every time I play and I am a leader and I like to play a lot and I like to help the team when I am on the pitch.

"I will speak to the manager and we will see what will happen

"I have the experience for sure and I love the Champions League, definitely.

"I think with the quality we have got we can go very far but the combination of the league and the Champions League is very tough and that is when you need to manage a team very well.

"You need to be all very focused and every game will be very tough because you need energy in every game and you need to be strong.

"This is a great group of players because it has young players and experience and everyone fights for an unbelievable captain (Steven Gerrard)."

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