InterviewCody Gakpo on Brighton, trophy ambitions, settling in and more
Cody Gakpo has detailed the squad’s hunger to show ‘the real Liverpool’ as they prepare for Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Victory at the Amex Stadium would secure the Reds a place in the last 16 of the competition, and Gakpo believes the team are primed to elevate their performances to new heights.
Jürgen Klopp’s side go into the game having recorded successive clean sheets in a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers and a goalless Premier League draw with Chelsea.
Gakpo set out the ambition to build on those resolute displays on the south coast this weekend.
“My feeling, personally, is everyone in the team has so much quality,” the Dutch forward told Liverpoolfc.com. “That is what I see in training and in phases in the games.
“It is also a part of football, that sometimes things don't work out exactly the way you want them to. We just have to keep improving, working hard, and the quality will come out.
“Then, you're going to see the real Liverpool.”
Inside Training: Drills and goals ahead of Brighton in the FA Cup
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FA Cup holders Liverpool have won the competition on eight occasions but have never retained the trophy. Gakpo has sensed a steely determination within the camp to make history by going all the way this season.
“Myself, I have won a few [trophies] back in the Netherlands,” he added. “That's what you train for all your life, to win games and to win prizes. I think everybody here is eager to win again and that's what I feel in the group.”
Read on for the remainder of our interview with Gakpo…
On how he has settled in at Liverpool…
From a football perspective, it's a new environment on the pitch, with new players and a new team. I can tell it's a really great group. Every day I am looking forward to working with them, to train hard and to play the games. I am trying to adapt as quickly as possible, to improve every day and in the end show the best version of myself. Off the pitch, to be honest, I haven't been in the city so many times yet. Most of the time I have been in the hotel. I am moving this week, actually. That's also something I'm looking forward to.
On the main differences between Liverpool and PSV Eindhoven….
I think everything is just new. Just little things people do differently here than in the Netherlands. Also, PSV is a big club, but Liverpool is a massive club. Everything is bigger than what I was used to, so that is also one thing that has changed a lot.
On the relationships he has formed with his new teammates…
It's a really good group. Everybody has helped me a lot and tried to make me feel at home as much as possible. I hang around with Curtis [Jones] sometimes and with other players, like Ibou [Ibrahima Konate]. Everybody is nice and helping me, so that's great.
On the role of playing as a striker for Liverpool…
It is a little bit different to what I'm used to. Normally, I have played on the left for almost the past three years. It's something I can improve, playing in the striker role, and I want to show my quality there. It's a great position and playing there makes me more complete as a technical player.
On the importance of the FA Cup…
Everybody is determined to win the next game and go to the next round and, at the end, to win the cup, for sure. We have to be ready to give our best.
On his emotions when captaining PSV to a Dutch Cup final win over AFC Ajax last season…
It was a great experience. It's a little bit of a different situation in the Netherlands. Ajax, in the last years, have been really brilliant. It was one moment we could win the cup and take it from them. We worked really hard as a team, it was an incredible moment, and hopefully we can achieve that again here.
On the test Brighton will provide on Sunday…
That is also important. Everybody knows what happened the last time [we played them]. We have to show that was an accident and go there for the win. That is what everyone wants to do. They play good football but I think if we are good on the ball and play our football then we will be the better team.