Liverpool may be racing towards the Premier League title in record time but midfielder James Milner believes their achievements are being taken for granted because of the way they have made winning appear ‘normal’.
The Reds are two wins away from lifting the league crown for the first time in 30 years and look set to smash Man United’s mark of April 14, 2001 when they achieved the feat with five matches to spare.
Jurgen Klopp’s side, who have amassed 82 points from 29 matches having dropped just five points all season, just need to beat Everton and Crystal Palace (on March 21) and they will easily better that by date and number of matches (seven) remaining.
Despite their remarkable record this season, Milner said winning Premier League matches was not as easy as they had seemingly made it look, evidenced by their three defeats in four matches in all competitions prior to the weekend.
“It is so hard to win the league. The amount of games we have won in a row that isn’t normal,” said the 34-year-old after the 2-1 victory over Bournemouth set a new top-flight record of 22 consecutive home league wins.
“You can win the league and you can drop points in a few games but to win this many games is not normal and people then start thinking it is easy.
“But every time we win a game it’s ‘get the music on in the dressing room, enjoy it’, because it is not easy to win Premier League games and there is going to be a point where it is very hard to win a game.
“I have been there. I have been relegated (with Leeds in 2004) and you think it is just an impossible task to win a game of football.
“So you have to remember how hard it is and how competitive the Premier League is and every time you are not at that level you are going to get found out so we have to keep performing and keep pushing.”
Asked whether Liverpool’s form had been taken for granted this season, Milner added: “It can be. Winning is tough and when you have won that many games everybody thinks, ‘oh they are going to win again, the title is done’.
“It’s not because you have to go out there and win the games. No one gives you it.
“The last few games hasn’t been at our levels and you are going to have a dip.
“When you get a few poor performances, questions get asked but you have to remember it is not normal for what we have done.
“It is not a normal thing to win the amount of games we have won. As soon as you drop points, away in a Premier League game, that is probably a normal thing.
“Those are the standards we have set, so when it happens to us, all hell breaks loose.
“What the team has done this season has been unbelievable.”
The return to winning ways has provided a confidence boost ahead of the pivotal Champions League last-16 second leg tie against Atletico Madrid where Klopp’s side must overturn a 1-0 deficit.
“It was pleasing to get a result to take into Wednesday,” added Milner.
“We have got a big game now and it is massive for us to stay in the Champions League.
“We just have to respond to that. We know ourselves where our standards are and we will find a way to win.”