Virgil van Dijk has a responsibility as our captain to face the media in good times and bad and following our heartbreaking and controversial loss to Tottenham Hotspur, all eyes were on the Dutchman.
Speaking with Match of the Day, as transcribed on BBC Sport, our captain said: “Losing a game is hard anyway. If you look at the fight we showed, the defending we did, the togetherness – it was good to see. The manager has told us in the dressing room and for me as a captain it’s good to see everyone working so hard and fighting for each other. To concede an own goal in the last two minutes of the game is cruel.”
‘On what he will say to Joel Matip and how he will feel: “I know it’s difficult as a central defender. If the ball is crossing with an ugly bounce it’s always difficult to clear it. It went in and unfortunately that can happen. He’s fine, he’s a good friend of mine and I know he will be fine.”
‘When asked if he is ‘losing faith’ in VAR: “I’m losing faith is difficult to say. The VAR should be absolutely clear and obvious with everything they’re deciding on. I’ve seen the still back, I think on live TV there were no lines being shown. It’s all a bit strange, I don’t know who was in the VAR room and making that decision. It’s not a good thing, it doesn’t look well either. It is what it is, we lost.”
‘When asked if you should never get offside wrong: “You’re absolutely right. [It’s] tough.”
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It’s painful to see the players work so hard and not get any points from the match but it’s important that we see some repercussions from the terrible officiating job that cost us so dearly.
It’s hard for the players to speak honestly after a game like that and not be punished but the 32-year-old did well in this case.
You can watch Van Dijk’s comments (from 11:51) via Match of the Day on the BBC iPlayer: