Virgil van Dijk has expressed his determination to land his second major trophy with Liverpool in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea and is confident his side are fully-prepared to face ‘big six’ opposition.
Two months after Madrid, the Europa League winners stand between the Reds and more silverware.
And while we’re still regaining total sharpness, as evidenced by one or two defensive lapses against Norwich, Van Dijk says the squad is in suitable shape to pass their first major competitive test of the new season.
“The most important thing is it’s just one game, one final, anything can happen,” he said in the pre-match press conference.
“We know we’re at the start of the season, everyone is coming back from having their break, but everyone should be ready. We are ready.
“We’re looking forward to it, we want to win that trophy and we’re going to do everything that’s possible to hopefully hold the trophy.”
Van Dijk was also asked about new ‘keeper Adrian, who will deputise for an injured Alisson over the next few weeks.
The Dutchman, whose importance will only be magnified over that period, expressed total confidence in the experienced stopper and says he will have the complete backing of his defence on and off the field.
“Adrian has been in now for his second week. We have been working day in, day out,” he explained.
“For him it’s obviously very good that he starts playing straight away; it’s not the situation you hope to be in, that Alisson is injured and you have to come in, but he’s experienced enough to go out there and show his qualities because he has plenty of quality.
“He played for so many years in the Premier League and we could already see in training how good he can be.
“He needs our support – we all do it together, we defend together. We need him there, he needs us as well. He will definitely do the job.”
Another key talking point ahead of the game is the milestone appointment of a female referee in Stephanie Frappart.
Van Dijk offered the perfect contribution.
“I think gender is irrelevant if the quality is there and it is there, because otherwise she wouldn’t be appointed for this game,” he pointed out.
“It doesn’t really matter. If you look at her CV, she did so many good games and they made the right decision. Gender doesn’t matter at all.”