Loris Karius is eager for Liverpool to maintain the momentum provided by back-to-back away victories when they return to Anfield on Saturday.
A routine 2-0 success over Southampton at St Mary’s a fortnight ago was followed by a 5-0 demolition of FC Porto as the Reds took charge of their Champions League last-16 tie in impressive fashion.
This weekend sees Jürgen Klopp’s side host West Ham United and, while expecting a challenging encounter, Karius is targeting three points that would consolidate their place in the Premier League’s top four.
“We’ve had a few away games so now it’s back to Anfield on Saturday. If you play at home as Liverpool, you want to win and get the three points no matter who it’s against, so it’s an important game to stay up there, keep pushing and keep collecting the points for the end of the season,” the goalkeeper told Liverpoolfc.com.
“West Ham is not a bad team. They have improved since the new manager came in, they have some good individual players I think - especially up front, they have quality in there.
“The manager will tell us what they want to do and we’ll analyse them, but we don’t have to be afraid of anyone.
“We go out to get three points, to score some goals again and hopefully keep a clean sheet at the back again. But I think the main thing is the three points that we want to get.”
Karius anticipates that David Moyes’ team will provide a stern physical test to a defence that has kept three clean sheets in Liverpool’s last four games.
“It’s hard to say before how the game will go, but of course it’s important always to get the first goal,” the 24-year-old continued.
“But you have to adapt when you play the game. I think West Ham is a physical team, they don’t play as much as we do probably, so there will be a lot of high balls, fighting for the second balls, defending the set-pieces well - that’s our job defending-wise.
“And then offensively we have so much creativity we don’t plan that stuff really, it’s just to go forward, creating chances and scoring goals. So the main thing is defend the physical play, the set-pieces, the high balls, and then score some goals up front, hopefully.”
The physicality of the Premier League is an area of English football that Karius has become accustomed to over the course of his time with the Reds.
“As a goalkeeper you have to know that the protection is not very high in England for goalkeepers if you come for crosses or whatever, so you just have to make the right decisions,” he said.
“I try to help out the team and come for crosses. Sometimes it can be a bit more tough, but I’m here in the second year now and I’ve got used to it.
“In the beginning it was quite a change, but now I’m used to it and I’m not saying it’s easy, but it definitely helps that I’ve been here now for a year and a half so you know what’s coming.”