By Gary Murray
Q – Looking at Liverpool’s run in, with no disrespect to any of the other sides, Tottenham and Chelsea stood out as the 2 more difficult games. How pleasing is it to come out of one of them with 3 points?
At this stage, it’s just pleasing to keep coming away with the three points, no matter who we’re playing. I get what you mean though. They were definitely the two you’d look at and think they’re the games we’re more likely to drop points in. The last two games have showed how much we want it, the will and desire to keep pushing until the end when it looks like we’re going to drop points. The players’ celebrations after the goal against a Spurs also showed how much they want it. It’s means everything to everyone involved. I just hope we don’t come up short again.
Q – Terry did the VFTRS last week and pointed at the manner of the victory at Fulham as really pleasing, showing fight, determination and a will to win to the very end in what would possibly, in years gone by, be a game Liverpool would have dropped points in. Is that the same for you in relation to the Spurs result?
Absolutely. I think the main reason for this is the mentality of the squad and we can thank Jurgen Klopp for that. The way he’s got the players thinking and working makes them and us hungry for success, but also gives everyone the belief we can achieve it together. As you’ve said there, the two previous games, in years gone by, could and probably would have ended in draws or even defeats. So to see the team fight and get the reward is a joy for all our fans.
Q – Friday night, a fixture away at somewhat inform Southampton. They themselves aren’t clear of danger yet so in that respect is this a difficult game for Liverpool to navigate past?
To put it simply, yes. Hasenhüttl has got them playing decent football and their recent form reflects it. The fact it’s a Friday night game is slightly concerning too as they always seem to throw out some mad scores/ performances. Having said all that and at the risk of this coming back to bite me on the backside, I don’t think drop points in this game. I feel we will have to much for Southampton, especially after the Spurs game, I think the players will get a little lift after the late goal and now kick on towards the finishing line in style. I don’t know if that’s my head or heart talking, but I’m sticking with it
Q – Finally, a lot has been made of the midfield 3 that started against Spurs, the seemingly default 3 of Wijnaldum, Milner & Henderson. Despite the success of last year’s European run being built on the strength of this 3, do you feel it’s run its course, at least in big games?
I do and that’s not to say I don’t like any of the individual players, just not together. For me, and I’ve said this on the Podcast, Fabinho, when fit, has to be the first name on the team sheet in the midfield. His form has been the best since he started playing regularly and you can see the difference he makes when he comes on after starting on the bench. After him, I think it’s then got to be EITHER Henderson or Wijnaldum (my preference being Wijnaldum) and then Milner as the front of the mid 3. If Milner is to sit a game out, for me he is replaced by Lallana or Keita. So again, yes, that “default three” has got to be finished now. I suppose we’ll see whether it is at the Chelsea game next week.