Georginio Wijnaldum says Liverpool cannot feel sorry for themselves after losing the Merseyside derby to Everton on Saturday and is adamant they can stop their season falling apart, insisting they have “a lot of games to turn it around”.
The 2-0 defeat in the 238th Merseyside derby was the first time the Reds had lost at Anfield to Everton since 1999 but, worse still, their fourth successive home league loss means they are on their worst run since 1923.
Injury to captain Jordan Henderson now leaves Jurgen Klopp without five options at centre-back while the goals have dried up at Anfield with just two goals – one of which was a penalty – in the last eight hours and 48 minutes.
The defending champions have slumped from top of the table on December 30 to sixth, three points outside the top four.
Netherlands international midfielder Wijnaldum, 30, who is out of contract in the summer and has still not signed a new deal, stressed Liverpool must now stop their season falling apart.
“This is a new situation we are in right now,” Wijnaldum, who has been linked with a move to Spanish side Barcelona, told Liverpool’s official website.
“In the previous seasons when we created so many chances, we always scored a goal. And now we’re in a period where we create a lot of chances but don’t score the goal.
“It’s frustrating, especially when you’re on the pitch and you’re playing. You don’t want to feel sorry for yourself and don’t want to go into the victim role.
“You just want to deal with the situation and try to bring it to a better end, or a good end, even if you know that you have a lot of injuries. I think that’s how we should look at the situation, not be the victims but just try to turn it around.
“We have a lot of games to turn it around – if we’re going to look at the situation as victims, it’s going to be worse.
“What we can do is just try to give everything, try to keep confident, and work all together to bring it (the season) to a better end.”
Liverpool are still alive and kicking in the Champions League, holding a 2-0 lead from the last-16 first-leg tie against RB Leipzig after a midweek performance which stood out as being markedly different from much of what has been seen in the last two months.
Klopp has seen positives in a lot of those matches and knows he must try to build on those elements to prevent the battle for a top-four place becoming even more difficult.
He refused to accept, however, his side had plateaued after three seasons of success.
“Not all the games were the same. We were dominant in most of the games. In the decisive moments, we make either a mistake, or something strange happens,” he said.
“That’s how it is: if we make a mistake it’s pretty much 100 per cent that the opponent scores from it and if we force them to make mistakes, it doesn’t mean we will immediately score.
“It’s no explanation to say that for three years we are really good and in the fourth, it’s normal that we struggle.
“I don’t see any relation to the last three years. The boys are still full of desire but to change football games and results you have to be decisive in the offensive and defensive moments and that is what we are lacking.
“I don’t like to talk about the good parts of the (Everton) game because we lost the derby but from tomorrow on we have to use it again.
“We cannot change the situation by playing bad, that’s not possible, but in decisive moments we have to improve, that’s clear.”