Van Dijk: Liverpool defensive revival can be springboard to success next season
Van Dijk: Liverpool defensive revival can be springboard to success next season
Van Dijk: Liverpool defensive revival can be springboard

Virgil van Dijk is optimistic that Liverpool's recent defensive revival can sustain long enough to ensure a major improvement in fortunes next season.

The Reds claimed their sixth consecutive Premier League victory by beating Brentford 1-0 on Saturday – a run that speaks to the upturn they have enjoyed since a recent change of system.

However, it is only in the last two games that they have shown signs of their previous solidity returning, with their victory over Fulham at Anfield on May 3 also ending 1-0.

Asked if that points to Jurgen Klopp's defensive unit getting back to their best, the Dutchman replied: "Let's hope so. 

MORE: Mohamed Salah vs Steven Gerrard: Who is Liverpool's Premier League-era GOAT?

"We work very hard – you see that today. The commitment that has been shown, the reaction when we lose the ball is very important, to get the ball back, win challenges, get into challenges. 

"There’s still room for improvement but to get six wins in a row is something that was unheard of this season. 

"Let's just keep going, enjoy the moment and take it into next season, hopefully, and get a very good season."

Liverpool were eighth after drawing with Arsenal on April 9 but their win over Brentford moved them a point behind fourth-placed Manchester United, although their rivals in the final UEFA Champions League qualification place have two games in hand on them.

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker also secured his 100th clean sheet in just his 229th appearance for the club.

6 & 5 - Liverpool have now won six successive Premier League games, with each of the last five being by exactly one goal – they’re the first side in the competition to win five in a row by a single goal since Birmingham in December 2009. Margins.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 6, 2023

As remarkable as those numbers are, the Brazil international's off-pitch contributions are just as worthy of praise, according to Van Dijk.

"That’s the biggest quality: how he is as a person, how important he is for the group," he added.

"On the pitch, his qualities are there to see: the contribution, the saves, the leadership. It’s very important but outside of the pitch he’s just as important with the qualities he has. 

"He’s a big, big leader in the group. He’s someone who a lot of players look up to. He’s an example to a lot of players as well, especially goalkeepers. I’m very glad that he’s my goalkeeper. 

"We’ve been very successful. This, for him, is a big moment and hopefully there are many more."

Alisson's our goalie…🎶

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 3, 2023

The talismanic defender was also full of praise for his centre-half partner Ibrahima Konate, who has established himself as a key man since arriving at Anfield last summer.

"He can be so much better than what he is already," Van Dijk said. "He’s still learning, he’s so young but he’s outstanding. He’s so strong and so fast. 

"He has everything for a modern-day centre-half. If I can give him one or two tips now and then and make him even better in this case, then I’m more than happy to. 

"He wants to learn, he’s eager to learn and he’s good to have around the dressing room. At the moment he’s at such a high level and, as a centre-half, experience is also a big thing: how to deal with certain situations, difficult moments, mistakes that happen now and then.

"He’s doing very well in how to manage himself as well. It is very important to do that physically. He’s making big steps and I’m glad to be part of it."

What's your reaction?


0 comment

Write the first comment for this!

Facebook Conversations

Disqus Conversations