LEARN FROM MISTAKES

I feel responsible for Liverpool’s poor form, says Van Dijk

The centre-back has captained the side in the absence of Jordan Henderson, with the Reds failing to hit top form.

In Summary

• “If we do well I obviously get praise and if we don’t then I don’t,” said Van Dijk. “But I still think I need to improve and that’s fine.”

• The 2-1 win over Ajax on Tuesday, which gave Jurgen Klopp’s side their first Champions League points of the campaign, came after they took the lead for only the second time in eight matches this season.

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk in action during a past match
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk in action during a past match
Image: FILE

Virgil Van Dijk says he feels responsibility for Liverpool’s inconsistent start to the season.

The centre-back has captained the side in the absence of Jordan Henderson, with the Reds failing to hit top form.

Liverpool have won just two of their first six league games and suffered a 4-1 Champions League defeat to Napoli.

“If we do well I obviously get praise and if we don’t then I don’t,” said Van Dijk. “But I still think I need to improve and that’s fine.”

The Netherlands international added: “The only way to do it is to play the games, learn from the mistakes, don’t listen to the outside world too much, speak to the people close to you.

“I’ve said it many times, we are all human beings and we all want to do as well as we can and the same goes for me. I know for a fact I can do much better, but we all can do better.

“I feel very hurt if we concede goals and don’t keep clean sheets and I feel that responsibility, but that’s a good thing. I want to turn this season around not for myself, but for all of us associated with the club.”

Van Dijk also mentioned criticism Liverpool had received from pundits.

“What we did last week [losing against Napoli] was unacceptable, all of us, and the days after that game we definitely had a reality check,” he said.

“The obvious criticism is there, but ex-pros and players who have played at this level know there are times when you can have a blip, a period like this unfortunately, and it is how you react to it.

“They have been in our situation and everyone has been acting like you can’t have a bad period, a difficult game or a difficult situation. It is too easy to say these type of things, but they are doing their job and that is what they do.”

The 2-1 win over Ajax on Tuesday, which gave Jurgen Klopp’s side their first Champions League points of the campaign, came after they took the lead for only the second time in eight matches this season.

Even then they were not defensively resilient enough to keep out their opponents and that frailty has been one of the major causes of their problems. Van Dijk believes the Ajax win has given them a base from which to build and improve.

“We showed glimpses [against Ajax] of what we normally are. We are good if we perform as a team,” he said.

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