Van Dijk makes ‘unacceptable’ claim after admitting Liverpool ‘reality check’

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Virgil van Dijk has made clear that the common understanding within the Liverpool squad is that the 4-1 defeat to Napoli last week was ‘unacceptable’, admitting it had handed the squad a sharp ‘reality check’ in the days that followed.

The Merseysiders fortunately followed up their defeat in Naples with a much-improved performance at Anfield to secure the lion’s share of the points against Ajax via a late Joel Matip winner.

“What we did last week [losing against Napoli] was unacceptable, all of us, and the days after that game we definitely had a reality check,” the Dutchman was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

“The obvious criticism is there, but ex-pros and players who have played at this level know there are times when you can have a blip, a period like this unfortunately, and it is how you react to it.

“They have been in our situation and everyone has been acting like you can’t have a bad period, a difficult game or a difficult situation.

“It is too easy to say these type of things, but they are doing their job and that is what they do.”

The Reds next face Brighton and Hove Albion in the domestic top-flight after two league meetings with Wolves and Chelsea respectively either side of the most recent Champions League group stage tie postponed in honour of the deceased Queen Elizabeth II.

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If any team is allowed a brief period of unrest as far as the quality of its performances are concerned it’s certainly Liverpool after the constant pressures faced year after year competing with Manchester City domestically.

Still, that will come as little comfort to a fanbase now used to such an impeccably high standard of football that the rest of the Premier League beyond ourselves and Manchester City almost look a whole division below us.

If the 2-1 win against Ajax was anything to go by, however, it seems possible that we’ll be turning a rather long corner after the international break, injuries depending.

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