Interview‘Wins you have to work really hard for feel the best’ - Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold considers battling victories, like Liverpool's 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, to be the most satisfying.
The Reds edged Steven Gerrard's visitors to Anfield thanks to a Mohamed Salah converted penalty with 67 minutes on the clock in the Premier League contest.
Though highlighting ways he and his teammates can improve, Alexander-Arnold admitted winning fixtures in such a manner is a required trait for teams hopeful of securing silverware.
Read on for Liverpoolfc.com's post-match interview with the No.66...
Trent, whatever the situation, this team always finds a way...
Always. I think last week obviously gave us the belief to keep on going. It was frustrating again, looking to go the same way as what last week was. But obviously we scored the goal earlier and saw the game out. Last 10, 15 was tough for us. We stopped playing football, we stopped playing the way we played the rest of the game and let them into it, to be honest, and they created chances and opportunities – and that's something that we need to work on, it's something that can't happen, to be honest. We need to see those games out a lot more comfortably.
You've blown away so many teams at Anfield in the early stages of games. When that doesn't happen, how important is patience?
It is. They set up in a way to frustrate us. They never really pressed us, they wanted us to have the ball, get into their half and then just cut us off and try to counter-attack. It was a frustrating one but these are the ones that probably feel the best. It's always good to blow teams away with 4-0 or 5-0, but the ones that you really have to work hard for – last week, this week – these are the ones that you know really matter, when you're kind of expected to draw these games and these could be draws. So those ones where you do find a way to win, it just shows the mentality and it means a bit more too.
That's now 21 goals in 22 games for the match-winner Salah...
And the assists. Look, it's frightening form. There's not even a handful of players that can say they're putting up those numbers in the last five, 10 years. You've got two, three max that are doing it at a high level week in, week out. I can't remember the last game he didn't score or assist, to be honest. It's getting ridiculous! But it's a credit to have him in the team. He's an outstanding lad and he works hard for it – it doesn't come by luck. You see him on a daily basis working hard, putting in the work and taking care of himself. He deserves every applause that he gets, every award and he deserves to be spoken so highly of. No-one around here can say a bad word about him.
There were penalty winners for all of the teams at the top of the Premier League. What does that say about how tight this title race is?
It's obviously going to be quite tight. It's exciting. Every time someone mentions it I get a smile on my face. It's something that we want as players and obviously to run away with it like we did a few years back. But you've still got to fight for it. At this point in the season, every team is fighting for something and it's only going to get tighter I imagine. We've just got to make sure in a period like this we win every game we can. This is probably the most important time of the year for us. It's not quite the run-in, it's that middle period where the games come thick and fast. And a game or two where you don't get your wins, you really get punished for that. We've been good so far. We need to keep going.
I know Stevie was your hero growing up, but there were so many other coaches in their dugout that played big parts in your upbringing in Tom Culshaw and Michael Beale...
So many. It was good to see faces that you recognise in the dugout and it'll be good to hopefully see them before they leave. They went up to Rangers and did an outstanding job there, and obviously came down to Villa and so far have been outstanding, to be honest. They're one of the most in-form teams since the changeover and it'll be exciting to watch the progress. But for two games in the season, we'll be hoping that they lose.