‘Keep on going and keep playing and keep printing’: Virgil van Dijk insists that Liverpool shows no signs of nerves when they approach the first title in 30 years
- Liverpool took another step towards the title with the West Ham victory on Monday
- The Reds went back to 22 clear points at the top of the Premier League table
- Virgil van Dijk maintains that the most important thing for him is not nervous now
Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk is always the quietest man on the field, but he believes that none of his teammates have been troubled by their attack on a first league title in 30 years.
The requirement for the Reds to end their long wait for a domestic championship now stands at only four wins after coming from behind to beat West Ham 3-2 in Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s side may be cruising with a 22-point lead at the top of the table, but they still have to face some challenges for their season-long unbeaten record.
Virgil van Dijk maintains that Liverpool does not suffer from nerves on their title
They were 2-1 ahead of the Hammers with 22 minutes left, while they defeated Norwich with a lone 78th minute goal and Van Dijk praised the mental power of the players.
“Not being nervous, that’s the most important thing,” was Van Dijk’s reason for the success of winning 26 and having drawn only one of their 27 Premier League games.
‘Keep going and keep playing and keep printing. There will be times when the opponent will have problems if we continue to do the same.
“They (West Ham) were a little better in the second half than in the beginning, they played pretty well, but I don’t think it’s important to be nervous.”
West Ham’s opening goal from Issa Diop was the first to be awarded to Anfield in 11 hours and 27 minutes.
Liverpool’s defensive resilience is one of the pillars on which their successful season is built, so if they admit it often comes as a shock.
“We can’t keep clean sheets every day,” Van Dijk added. ‘The first (for West Ham) was a set piece: we have to look at it, but they are good at set pieces.
Liverpool gave in twice against West Ham on Monday-evening, a bit of a shock
‘I might have had to get the second goal tighter (against goal scorer Pablo Fornals), but in the end it’s about getting the result.
‘We all want a clean slate, we all want eight goals, that is what every soccer player wants, but in reality you sometimes have difficult nights.
“We had a difficult night, but we stayed calm and that’s the most important thing.”
Since the return of their mid-season break, Klopp’s side seems to miss some of the fluency they had before, working to defeat Norwich and West Ham by the strange goal and losing to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League final -16 draw in Spain.
However, Van Dijk maintains that leisure time has not put out their fire.
“I think we should take advantage of the break we had,” said the Dutchman. ‘Everyone had their free time, we all enjoyed it and we are all ready for the second part of the season.
‘If you are looking for negatives, so be it, but we want to win games, we know that every game will be difficult.
“We just keep going and stay positive and don’t get nervous. That is the most important. “