Ronnie Whelan has warned Liverpool that a repeat of performances like those against Luton and Toulouse will ‘catch up’ with them as the season goes on.
The Reds have had a largely positive campaign thus far, sitting just three points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League and on course to top their Europa League group, thus bypassing the knockout phase play-off round in February.
However, having needed a last-minute equaliser to salvage a draw against the Hatters and gone down to a deserved 3-2 defeat in France, Jurgen Klopp’s side must deliver a strong response in their final game before the November international break when they host Brentford at Anfield on Sunday.
Speaking on LFC TV on Friday, Whelan said: “We all had bad games like Luton 1-1, but to lose last night, we cannot have that many bad performances. It’s bad performances in the last two games that have cost us.
“We have dropped points in the league. It’s not going to be a major problem in the Europa League, but you don’t want to keep going out with these performances because it’s going to catch up you along the way.”
Whelan’s concern is understandable, as despite their strong positions domestically and in Europe, Liverpool have had a tendency to do things the hard way this season.
Convincing home wins over Aston Villa, Toulouse and Nottingham Forest have been mixed with hard-fought victories against the likes of Bournemouth, Wolves, LASK and Leicester, against each of whom the Reds have needed to retrieve a 1-0 deficit before triumphing.
Our form at Anfield has been pivotal this term, given that we haven’t won away in the Premier League since the aforementioned three-pointer at Molineux in mid-September. It’ll take quite a performance to end that streak in November, with Man City the opponents for our one remaining top-flight trip this month.
Whereas Liverpool were horribly unlucky in their only other defeat this season against Tottenham, they got what they deserved in France on Thursday, and used a ‘get out of jail free’ card with Luis Diaz’s last-gasp leveller at Luton.
Brentford tomorrow will certainly be no pushover, especially with them on a three-match winning run, but three points are a must, and ideally Klopp’s team will marry victory with a convincing performance to dispel any concerns ahead of the crunch visit to the Etihad Stadium in a fortnight’s time.