Liverpool’s summer signing Gini Wijnaldum has admitted that our horrible run of form before Saturday’s victory over Spurs was because the team crumbled under the pressure it put on themselves.
The Dutchman was phenomenal in the 2-0 Anfield victory, which was desperately needed after a run of just one win in 11 matches.
Before the weekend just gone though, he was struggling as much as his team-mates, seemingly unable to recapture the kind of performance that made us so lethal before Christmas.
“We are hurting from every poor performance and every bad result. That is how it is. You have to go on,” he told the Telegraph.
“I don’t think we had the pressure of the title race, that came more from the outside.
“Of course you know if you have poor results it is more difficult to win the title but we still have second, third, fourth place and we must finish as high as possible at the end of the season.
“I think in some situations we put too much pressure on ourselves and that is why it went so wrong.
“If you have a few poor games in a row you are going to put pressure on yourself of ‘We have to win this one or this and this will happen’.
“I think we were too busy thinking about the consequences than concentrating on the game.
“Last week we were only concentrating on Tottenham: how we can play against them, how we can hurt them and so on.
“The focus was different than a few weeks before. That is my opinion.
“There was a lot of pressure on us because only in the biggest games have we shown how good we are.”
Wijnaldum’s comments are honest and show how important the mental side of the game is. Thankfully, now it seems as if the squad has turned a corner, and the mini ‘pre-season’ currently being held in La Manga, Spain, will recharge the player’s batteries, mentally and physically.
There’s 13 games left of the Premier League season and to stand a chance of finishing in the top four, we need to win the vast majority of them.
With a united, fit squad – we’re as good as anybody in the country on our day. It’s now time to start showing it consistently.