‘There were a lot of things that we could have done better’: Joe Gomez warns that Liverpool must improve defensive play if they hope to win more trophies
- Liverpool won the Super Cup on Wednesday by beating Chelsea on penalties
- Joe Gomez praised the win but suggested the Reds were often too lax in defence
- Virgil van Dijk echoed Gomez by stressing the need to keep a winning mentality
Joe Gomez has warned there must be a significant improvement in Liverpool’s defensive play if they want to add further honours to the European Super Cup.
Liverpool returned to Merseyside on Thursday afternoon after spending the night in Istanbul but there is no let-up in their relentless schedule as they face Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday on the south coast.
Jurgen Klopp is anxious about the demands that have been placed on his players already but he is also concerned by the way they have been leaking goals and opportunities: they have faced 40 shots so far in their opening three games, a figure that is more than double at the same stage last year.
Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night by defeating Chelsea on penalties
Defender Joe Gomez praised the win but suggested the Reds were often too lax in defence
Gomez, who was played out of position at right-back against Chelsea, was thrilled to have landed the second major honour of his career but, equally, he was also realistic and made it clear that Liverpool cannot afford to be as lax as they have been so far.
‘There were a lot of things that we could have done better – on a personal note and as a team,’ said Gomez.
‘There were a few sloppy moments and we conceded two goals that could have been prevented. We didn’t play our best football in the first half and we didn’t get down to it properly.
‘In phases, we had to dig in and we got the result. That’s why we got so close to winning the Premier League last season, the fact that we got something even when we didn’t have our best days. The manager, at the end, wanted a positive mind-set and told us: “come on – we can win this.”
‘You want to be at a big club like this to play in the biggest games and win the big trophies. That is our aim this year. We have the feeling that we are a top team and can win things. There is a belief in this squad and we want that to carry on.’
Virgil van Dijk echoed Gomez by relaying the importance of maintaining a winning mentality
Few would suggest Liverpool played with fluency on Wednesday in what were stifling conditions but, equally, they had a resilience about them that suggested they would grind out a result and Gomez feels there has been a change in the dressing room’s mentality.
‘There is definitely a difference,’ said Gomez. ‘Winning and getting over the line is a characteristic of a big team. Getting results sets you apart. We are getting experience of being involved in occasions such as this and, hopefully, we will continue to use it.’
Virgil van Dijk echoed the sentiment and said: ‘This is important for the progress of our team and development. Winning trophies is important for your mentality and you have to take every opportunity you get. We have the Club World Cup later in December – that is our next chance.’
Klopp has a number of fitness issues to monitor before Liverpool travel to the South Coast. James Milner left Vodafone Park with his left leg bandaged, while Naby Keita has a hip injury and is out. Brazil midfielder Fabinho suffered from cramp badly towards the end of the Super Cup final.
‘We were very tired,’ said Gomez. ‘We are away then home and then gone again. But that’s part and parcel of it all. We are very lucky (to be footballers) and we cannot complain. We have to put (Istanbul) behind us as quickly as possible.’
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