Diogo Jota: 11 games still to go – we need to do the best possible

InterviewDiogo Jota: 11 games still to go – we need to do the best possible

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By Chris Shaw

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Liverpool have to maximise the final 11 games of the season, urged Diogo Jota, as focus now turns to a Premier League trip to Chelsea.

The Reds endured a disappointing return to domestic duty on Saturday as they were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.

They must now rally for a quick turnaround and aim to produce a swift response when they journey to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

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Jota, who was limited to just eight appearances before February due to injuries, acknowledged the difficulties he and the team have faced to find consistent rhythm this season but insisted there is still time to change that.

Reflecting on the personal and collective challenges of 2022-23, Jota told Liverpoolfc.com: “Not easy. It’s been very hard, to be honest, this season personally.

“I wanted to give it a proper go and I was injured at the start of the season, then I came back and got injured again. And now at the last stage of the season when the team is already not fighting for anything [in terms of trophies], to find the momentum and find the rhythm even for myself [is difficult], but it’s a bit like the team at the moment.

“We need to fight to try to do the best possible we can this season, because there’s still 11 games to go and we need to give proper energy and be ready for next season, because we need to qualify for something, and Champions League is still possible – it would be massive if we could do that.”

The Portugal international added: “Like I said, finding the rhythm at this stage of the season is not easy but I always try to be at my best to help the team.

“Obviously it’s not easy for me and not easy for the team but we still need to believe that there is something to play for this season and that’s what we will try to do.”

Chelsea had won three and drawn one of their previous four fixtures before falling to a 2-0 home defeat by Aston Villa at the weekend, while it was a goalless stalemate at Anfield when the sides last met, in January.

“It’s not going to be an easy game, especially at their ground, but we will do our best to try to get the win,” said Jota of the 8pm BST kick-off.

While the clash in the capital will come too soon for Luis Diaz to feature, the Colombian attacker is now nearing a return to the pitch after a knee injury.

And Jota is naturally pleased by the prospect of his fellow forward adding to Jürgen Klopp’s options.

“Yes, of course, it’s helpful for everyone, especially with a player like Luis who brings a lot of energy to the team,” he said.

“The more options we have the better and in this group everyone has the ability to be helpful because we have quality in our group, and if we have more options then the better.”

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