Liverpool’s James Milner has urged his team-mates to shut out dissenting voices from outside the club.
The England international is already an influential player after just nine matches in a red shirt, and captained the side and scored the opener in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.
That was just the tonic required after League Two Carlisle took Liverpool to penalties at Anfield in the Capital One Cup.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has since spoken about a number of his critics creating “hysteria” over his position, but Milner believes the team must ignore off-field opinions where possible.
“At times when things aren’t going well it’s important you stick together,” he told Liverpool TV.
“There have been a lot of things said outside the club at this moment. It’s down to us not to take any notice of that, stick together, stay together as a club and keep believing what we’re doing is right.
“We’re working very hard to keep improving, work on things and be the team we want to be. I’m sure if we continue the amount of work we’re putting in, it has to come good.”
Milner arrived on Merseyside from Manchester City and knows a thing or two about coping with expectation.
“I’ve been fortunate to play for big clubs throughout my career and that’s the pressure you get playing in the Premier League and at the top level,” he said.
“There’s always going to be that spotlight and pressure.
“When things aren’t going well, it’s going to come down on you; equally, when things are going well, people can get carried away. It’s important that we keep that level mindset and concentrate on our business.
“It’s when things aren’t going well that you see who wants it the most and who wants to stand up and be counted.
“We’ve got some big personalities and big players who want to stick together and put in performances. It was a big performance at the weekend – that’s a start for us and we need to move on from there.”