ReactionAndy Robertson: We need to be so much better
Andy Robertson reflected honestly on Liverpool’s 4-1 Champions League defeat against Napoli, stressing: “We need to be so much better.”
The Reds’ group-stage campaign began in disappointing fashion on Wednesday night as the Serie A side convincingly took the three points at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Goals from Piotr Zielinski (two), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Giovanni Simeone sent the hosts clear on the scoresheet and rendered Luis Diaz’s second-half strike immaterial.
Robertson spoke to Liverpoolfc.com post-match in Naples, assessing where things went wrong and how the Reds can go about responding to the setback.
We know from history it’s always a difficult place to come but why tonight was it particularly difficult for the boys to get going?
It all starts because we weren’t compact enough. You come away here, we’ve not won here as a group, obviously we’ve always found it difficult and you just think: go and keep it tight. Obviously we’re a pressing team and when your mate doesn’t win the ball you have to have somebody to back him up; we didn’t have that, people were flying into challenges, they were turning fairly easily and then nobody was there to back it up and then they had acres of space to run into. We left our two centre-backs exposed and we left Ali exposed. When you happen to do that and they were clinical – they take their chances – then you find yourself in the position that you’re in.
Nowhere near good enough, we can’t front it up any other way than that, it’d be daft of us. The Liverpool fans deserve better than that. We deserve better than that as a squad; we have to look at ourselves. We have to look individually before we look collectively. Are we doing enough for the team? Are we playing the way we want to play? Are we doing exactly what we should be doing? Because it didn’t look like it. We’re a pressing team, we like to get on the front foot, we like to put teams under pressure and just now we’re going in ones and twos but we’re not going in threes and fours and fives and that’s when we have really good games. And we need to get back to that really quickly.
That has been the strength of this side for a number of years, the way you go at them and press them. Why has it been difficult this season to get that going consistently?
We need to put our finger on it. We have to work out why that’s happening. I can’t put my finger on it just now because if we did it would have been sorted. But we have to get back to it. Our intensity over the years has been incredible, the way we work together, the way we press teams, the way we put them under pressure. And just now that’s not happening, that’s evident. It’s not happening. The fans aren’t daft, they can see it on the pitch as well. We need to do it quickly.
We need to get our relationships stronger, we need to keep working on the left-hand side, the right-hand side, the midfield, the strikers have to be closer to all of us, we have to get back to being compact. We also need to get back to keeping clean sheets – we’ve not kept enough this season and we need to get back to it because that’s the basis of a good game. When you keep clean sheets you know you can’t get beat, it’s as simple as that. We’ve conceded four today, probably deserved it. They could have probably had more, Ali has saved a penalty. We could have scored a couple of goals but we’re not interested in that. We deserved to get beat tonight and we need to be so much better.