The Reds remain in the hunt for a top-four finish this season, but they have been making life difficult for themselves in a testing campaign
Diogo Jota admits Liverpool “didn’t do our job properly” during recent setbacks at home and abroad, with the 2019-20 Premier League champions now sweating on a top-four finish.
Injury problems and collective dips in form have conspired against the Reds this season, with uncharacteristic struggles leaving them sixth in the top flight and empty-handed on the trophy front.
Champions League qualification can still be secured, but regular setbacks have been suffered and Jurgen Klopp’s side are relying on others to slip up with five fixtures of the current campaign remaining.
What has been said?
Asked by Liverpool’s official website on whether every game has become a cup final for the Reds, Jota said: “I’ve been mentioning that since we had 10 games left – I said if we did our job I thought we were going to get it.
“But now with five to go, we didn’t do our job properly and it’s not only about us now. But if we don’t do our bit, it’s impossible.
“So we need to do [that] and hope for the results to go our way. We know it’s going to be hard but we need at least to be doing our job.”
What has been going wrong?
Anfield was once a fortress for Klopp’s side, but points have been dropped with alarming regularity on home soil this season.
That was the case last time out against Newcastle, when domination for long periods only delivered a 1-1 draw, and Jota admits that a ruthless streak needs to be rediscovered.
The Portuguese forward added: “We all felt it [the draw with Newcastle] like a defeat, speaking for me, but I think it was pretty much everyone’s feeling as well.
“For example, the last two games at half-time we were winning 1-0, like Wolves. But the difference against Wolves was that we won at the end. In these two games we conceded, we played not-so-good second halves and we conceded. Then everything feels bad.
“Now this is the final third of the season and we know the results are the most important thing, so we need to avoid being so passive in the second halves because we need the results.”
Who is next up for Liverpool?
Confidence can be restored in the Reds’ next outing, as they prepare to pay a visit to Old Trafford and arch-rivals Manchester United.
There is always plenty riding on such contests, with history and bragging rights added to the equation, but Jota concedes that Sunday’s fixture has taken on added importance for Liverpool.
He said: “Obviously every game is important but obviously being a Liverpool player, playing against Man Utd is always a special game – maybe even bigger than other big matches that we have in the Premier League.
“So, of course, we are really looking forward [to it] because we know how much it means to the fans as well.”