Speaking in the aftermath of the Reds’ progression to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, Gini Wijnaldum acknowledged what fans already knew: a win — not only just progression in the competition — was something the team really needed.
While the Dutchman, who was captain in Budapest on Wednesday, was pleased with the performance and result, he also adds a note of caution.
”It helps to get confidence back when you have results, and especially when you play a good game, which we did today.
“But it’s not a guarantee that you’re going to win the next couple of games, so we just have to realize that we have to give everything and work even harder than before to get the results back that we had before.
“So, we’re happy with this and it will give us confidence, but we know that we still have to do a lot of work to win a lot of games in a row.”
He also gave voice to the elephant in the room: that Liverpool simply have not been scoring their chances of late:
“We spoke about it in the team that the last couple of games it was really difficult for us because we didn’t create chances, so it makes it automatically difficult to score goals.
“But we knew if we just worked hard and analyzed the game well and just give everything, the chances will come.
“This season, unfortunately, we’re in a position and a situation where we don’t score every chance we have. It [creating chances] gives you a really good feeling; sometimes also you’re disappointed because you don’t score the chances you get. But that we create chances again is a good thing.”
The players, just like the fans, will be happy that the creativity seems to be back — with no little thanks to Fabinho’s much-applauded return to the midfield, which did not go unnoticed by Wijnaldum:
“I enjoyed playing in the midfield – also because it went well today,” Wijnaldum said. “We talked a lot, trying to help each other out in moments and it went well.
“But I have to say, the whole game up front it went well, at the back it was good, so as a team we were really organized and played a really good game, so I think everybody enjoyed playing today.”
All in all, the result has allowed players and fans alike to heave a sigh of relief. The advancement to the next round in this year’s Champions League is also something of a special achievement in terms of the squad’s overall record in the competition of late, as highlighted by Andrew Beasley:
Now if only this form could continue outside of Budapest…