Persistence is the key to the rediscovery of the ‘spark’ that has been missing in Liverpool’s last two performances, Andy Robertson believes.
The Reds were held to a second successive 1-1 draw on Monday, when Michail Antonio equalised Sadio Mane’s opening goal at West Ham United.
That outcome at the London Stadium came five days after Leicester City claimed a share of the spoils at Anfield and means Jürgen Klopp’s team’s lead at the top of the Premier League now stands at three points.
Robertson, though, is not unduly concerned by back-to-back below-par displays and hopes to respond positively and immediately against AFC Bournemouth at the weekend.
“West Ham are a good team and it’s a good point here, another point, but we need to be better and quick,” said the left-back.
“It’s not time to panic. It’s time to relax and enjoy it, and play better football because of that. West Ham have made it a lot harder [at the London Stadium], especially this season. Credit to them, they did well and deserved a point, but we weren’t at our best.
“It’s a long season. If you ask anyone in any league if they’re as fresh now as they were at the start of the season, they’ll say they’re not, because they’ve played 20, 25 games or whatever it is.
“Nobody’s going to be fresh at this time so it’s about preparing right and getting ready for the games so that our bodies feel good.
“We just need to keep going, we need to keep finding a spark that’s been missing in the past two games, but it’s about taking chances at the right time and keeping clean sheets, which we’ve failed to do in the last couple.”
Victory over Everton on Wednesday would see Manchester City overtake Liverpool at the top of the table, albeit with the Reds retaining a game in hand.
But Robertson insists Klopp’s players are solely focused on their own targets, not the performances or results of their rivals.
“It doesn’t make a difference to us,” the Scotland captain stated.
“We need to get back on track to winning games and playing better football. We can’t worry about them [City]. We’re having a wee blip and we need to just try and get over the line in a couple of games.
“Here Divock [Origi] had a chance, and if that goes in we’re talking differently, but we’ll keep going. We’ll dust ourselves down. There’s still a long way to go - the run-in will be exciting but it’s time to try and enjoy it.
“I wouldn’t say nerves are showing. Did anyone say that when City dropped points against Palace and Leicester? I don’t think they did. It’s no different for us. People talk about pressure because we’ve not been in this position but it’s February.
“Everyone needs to relax and try and enjoy the run-in. If you’re fans, or if you’re from another club, you can watch many other clubs who want to be in the position we’re in just now.
“Nerves aren’t showing in the changing room, it’s been two poor results and poor performances. It happens during a long season.
“We might look back on it as a good point, but we don’t know that right now. We need to get back to playing the better football we can but it’s nothing to do with nerves.”