ReactionCurtis Jones on West Ham victory, self-confidence and squad competition
Curtis Jones was pleased by the strength of character shown in Liverpool’s victory over West Ham United on Sunday, believing the Reds were forced to dig deep for three points.
Jürgen Klopp’s charges made it five wins on the bounce in the Premier League at Anfield and continued their unbeaten start to the 2023-24 season.
Mohamed Salah opened the scoring from the penalty spot, before Jarrod Bowen levelled proceedings for the Hammers ahead of the half-time interval.
Darwin Nunez and substitute Diogo Jota both struck after the break to claim the three points, though, and Jones was proud of the battling qualities on display.
The midfielder told Liverpoolfc.com: “It’s OK when you are going out there and scoring loads of goals, but when the game is hard you’ve got to dig deep when a team is sitting back deep and you know it’s going to be a hard time. So, to score goals is good, and on top of that score three and have an overall good team performance.”
Asked what was said during the half-time interval, he added: “It was a strange one. When we came inside, we were a little bit quiet because they scored at the end of the first half, so it felt like a bit of a sting, but the gaffer just came in, got up the clips of where we were playing well and playing through them and we had chances where we could have scored.
“There was my one when I scored and I was offside, so he was just saying to go out there and to play the same way.”
Read on for more from our post-match interview with the No.17…
On Liverpool’s midfield and attack being a problem for any defence…
Yeah, 100 per cent. We started with Darwin, Mo and [Luis] Diaz and we can change to Cody [Gakpo] and Jots [Diogo Jota]. You can also have Harvey [Elliott], and you could bring Ryan [Gravenberch] in, it’s always the same creating chances for our team to score goals. The lads are comfortable on the ball, they make runs and they can definitely score.
On being desperate to show his quality with so much competition in the squad…
Of course and I’ve had a time when I’ve been out of the side for a while and then I came back and picked up a knock again, so I’m at the point now where I want to play all of the games and help the team as much as I can.
On the confidence boost that he’s being selected amid plenty of new arrivals…
It’s always been there [confidence]. I’ve had a difficult time [last season] when I got poked in the eye and was out for 10 weeks because the doctor said I couldn’t train and play. I came back but in a team like ours there’s lads in there that go out and play and they score goals and then it’s hard to take them out of the team, so there’s been times where I’ve had to wait my turn, but I’m at the point now where I’m in the team and I know what I’ve got to do. The new lads that have come into the team have given us a bigger boost and it allows me to play a little bit more free and pick up spaces where I want to play. That’s what I’m doing and I’m just trying to keep it going.
On having to get used to playing Thursday and Sunday…
It’s Liverpool so we are always going to play. We’d like it to be a Champions League to where it’s a Tuesday or Wednesday game but we’re there now, we are happy we are in it [the Europa League], we have started well so we want to keep it going and the Premier League is always there of course. So, it’s game after game and it’s good.