Matchwinner Emre Can on Reds’ “dirty” three points and finding his form and fitness

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Emre Can remains bullish about what he can offer this Liverpool team and was in good spirits after scoring the winner against Burnley on Sunday.

The Reds secured a vital win over a stubborn Clarets side at Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp‘s men never close to their best on a nervy afternoon.

Ashley Barnes’ early strike was cancelled out by Georginio Wijnaldum‘s fifth goal of the season before Can made himself the match-winner.

The 23-year-old rifled a 25-yard shot into the corner of the Kop net on the hour mark, as Liverpool picked up back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time in 2017.

Can was honest about what has been a poor spell of form individually, including a poor first half showing against Burnley, but says he has total faith in his ability.

“I know I had a very tough period, I had not too much confidence in the last few weeks and it was not my best performance,” Can said post-match.

“But I had the feeling I would come back, I had the feeling that I was getting strong again, and I know what I am able to do when I am fit, when I’m pain-free.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 12, 2017: Liverpool's Emre Can scores the second goal against Burnley during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Today it was a step forward and I have to keep it up. I had problems with my calf and I didn’t want to [have] a break and the manager didn’t want it, I wanted to help my team.

“Maybe it didn’t help the team too much and myself as well but I’m very happy today, it was good, I felt good again, and that’s the most important [thing].

“If I feel good, if I feel strong, then I know what I’m able to do.”

Speaking after the match, manager Jurgen Klopp explained how Can has been suffering with a calf injury in recent weeks, explainig: “He’s had a few problems with his calf in the last few months, which we couldn’t sort quickly enough – not because of our medical department but because sometimes he had it, sometimes not.

“A lot of specialists have been around to try and find out, but the situation was like this, that we could not say ‘go on holiday for four weeks and maybe it’s better then’ – that’s not the situation.

“So it looks like we’ve found the solution now and he doesn’t have these problems any more.”

Meanwhile, Can also discussed the importance of Liverpool winning ugly for one of the few times this season, as they continue to scrap for a place in next season’s Champions League.

“It was a really big three points because in the past we lost that kind of match [in the past] and today we won the match,” he added.

“We know it was not our best game but at this stage it’s very important to get the three points and we got it. We’re very happy.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 12, 2017: Liverpool's Emre Can celebrates scoring the second goal against Burnley during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It’s very important to get the three points and sometimes to get them dirty, like today.

“It was a very tough game because Burnley did very well – they were very strong in the air and they were clever, I think. It was not easy but we got the three points and that’s the most important [thing].”

Can’s performances have certainly been disappointing in 2016/17, having been such a key player towards the end of last season.

With his Liverpool future very much up in the air amid contract talk, supporters are split as to whether they want to keep the midfielder, but his Burnley winner showed what he is capable of.

While he can frustrate at times, he cannot be criticised for a lack of heart, and he took the bull by the horns at a potentially crucial moment in the Reds’ season.

He still has to do a lot more to fully convince the masses, but hopefully Sunday’s second-half showing will signal an improvement in form, especially with Jordan Henderson out for the foreseeable future.

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