Liverpool are well aware of what is required to spur them back into form, as Neco Williams called for players and fans to “stay together and keep pushing.”
Williams was the only player to brave social media in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Fulham, which has left the Reds eighth in the Premier League.
In many ways, there is little that can be said regarding this dismal run of six consecutive Anfield league losses, but the right-back should perhaps be commended for his straightforward approach.
The 19-year-old struggled against Fulham, there are no two ways about it, but it was his first start since the FA Cup win over Aston Villa on January 8, and his first league start since December 6 against Wolves.
He was one of seven players to come into the side, many of which had not played a substantial level of football in months, and that certainly contributed to a lacklustre display.
Liverpool have two more games to come before the international break – against RB Leipzig in the Champions League and Wolves in the league – and Williams has called for those involved to “stay together”:
The Welshman’s insistence that there can be “no excuses” was echoed by James Milner in his post-match interview with LFCTV, with the vice-captain assessing the defeat in the context of the seven changes made:
“It’s not familiarity [that was the issue], obviously we train with each other a lot and we’ve all played together a lot.
“It’s just obviously players who maybe haven’t played as much and getting that rhythm.
“But it’s excuses at the end of the day. We need to be better, we know that. We know we can perform a lot better but things aren’t happening for us at the moment.
“I don’t think you can level at the players there’s no effort there – the effort is always there.
“I don’t think you ever see anyone strolling around, that would never happen with this group of players, it’s an honest group of players.
“But when things aren’t going for you everything is a lot harder; you miss a chance and it hits you a lot harder.
“You need one to go in off someone’s knee or something and at the moment it’s not happening for us.”
That Liverpool are left hoping for a fortunate goal highlights the lack of confidence within the squad at present, with the Reds looking for outside factors to help boost their form as their best efforts have not been enough of late.
However, Milner added that while “a little bit of magic” would help, it is “down to us to dig ourselves out”:
“Obviously it’s a break that you need, a little bit of magic. Shaq had an effort that has gone the wrong side of the post – when things are going well it goes in.
“One from a corner that’s bouncing around – when things are going well it goes in.
“At the moment it’s not for us and it’s down to us to dig ourselves out. The only way is working hard and it’s down to us to do that.”
As Klopp noted in his post-match address, it is a blessing that Liverpool can now switch their focus to a different competition, albeit with a tough task ahead of them despite their 2-0 lead over Leipzig.
A new landscape helped the Reds in their first-leg victory in Budapest, and the hope will be that similar plays out with the ‘home’ tie at the same venue.