Alisson's Merseyside derby preview: 'We know the importance for us and our fans'

InterviewAlisson's Merseyside derby preview: 'We know the importance for us and our fans'

Published 11th February 2023


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Alisson Becker underscored the importance of Monday night's Merseyside derby for Liverpool's squad and supporters.

Everton, guided by their new manager Sean Dyche, make the short trip across Stanley Park to Anfield for the 242nd competitive meeting between the local rivals.

Jürgen Klopp's side are looking to secure a much-needed set of three points in the Premier League following a testing run, while giving Reds the city's bragging rights in the process.

Alisson previewed the derby by sitting down with at the AXA Training Centre – read on for our chat with the goalkeeper...

Ali, what's the mindset of the squad heading into this derby?

It's a difficult moment – we recognise that. I think the first step you need to make for changing the situation is recognising your real situation. We are doing that. For this week, we have time, we are working hard. We know the importance of a derby and we know what is the importance and meaning for us to have a good performance, to show to our supporters that we still have the desire inside of us. We are going to do that and try to win the game.

Inside Training: Watch Reds' rondos and attacking drills ahead of Everton

You spoke after the Wolves game about football being a mental game, as well as physical. Is the hardest thing bringing back confidence, because you can't really work on that in training?

I think confidence is something that comes to you with good performances, good results – we are not having them at the moment. We are having moments where we are performing well during the games – just this doesn't give you confidence. But we know that in football everything can change quickly for the bad, for the good. Now we understand and we believe that in the next match everything can change for us. We are going to focus on the performance to get that confidence back and try to win the game to get the three points, no matter what. And fight for our teammates, for the supporters, for the team, for the people that support us, for our families and be strong together.

The fighting qualities that have brought this team so much success are very much still here. Tell us about the determination in the dressing room to turn things around...

I think everybody understands the situation and everybody knows each one of us has to give something extra for the group. During the match, as I said, we have a few good moments, so we can say we are playing 75, 80 per cent of what we can play. We have to put [in] more, we have to give extra things for the team – not only in terms of football but in excitement, in attitude, supporting teammates, everything that is in your hand to try to change our situation. We understand that and we're going to use everything that we have in our hands to turn around this moment, this situation. I believe it is just a moment and we're going to turn out soon.

Obviously a Merseyside derby under the lights at Anfield is the perfect occasion to try to get back on track. Everton are obviously under a new manager, so does that make them a little bit of an unpredictable opponent?

They could be. But every game we have had in front of us, they have been really big challenges for us – I think because of our performances, not because of the opponent. I believe at this moment our biggest opponent [is] ourselves. And then, of course, we have Everton with really good quality. They are not in a good situation but they changed managers, they are excited, they beat the leaders in the league and this shows they have the quality there in their team. It's a derby – they're going to fight for the result but we're going to fight as well. We have our supporters on our side and when we are together, we are stronger. We know how strong we are when we are together on the pitch and with the crowd supporting us. That's what we need to do and that's what we need to be on Monday.

How important will the fans be for you on Monday night?

We always needed them when we were in a good shape. Or when we are in a not-so-good shape, we always need them to push ourselves. We lived so many great moments in the last two, three, four years together. We built something here – trust. We achieved so many things together with the supporters, and now is not different. It's just a different target, different achievements but we're going to need them, for sure, to turn around our situation and to hopefully live better moments from now.

Published 11th February 2023


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