Virgil van Dijk says there will be no signs of complacency within the Liverpool squad despite sitting on a 13-point lead going into 2020, stating last year’s epic title race taught them a huge lesson.
Liverpool enjoyed a record season but still came up a point short after an amazing title scrap with City, but this season the Reds have been unstoppable, playing like a team with a point to prove as they’ve marched to 17 wins and a draw out of 18 games.
That means they enjoy a 13-point lead over Leicester and 14-point advantage over title-holders Man City, with a game in hand on both, as they end an amazing year looking on the brink of ending their 30-year wait for the league title.
They won the Champions League, the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup in 2019 and suffered just one league defeat, back in January at Man City, in a dominant 12 months, but it is that elusive league title that the club and their fans crave.
Van Dijk says picking up silverware has become a good habit and it keeps the hunger alive within Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
“If you are able to play for trophies when you are in finals then you want to win them so we have been doing that since the Champions League so it is a nice habit,” said Van Dijk.
“I think the most important thing was the Champions League. That is something incredible and we all enjoyed that – but we all enjoyed the ride we had in the Premier League last year (finishing one point behind City).
“We came very close, unfortunately City were just a little bit better but that spurred us on to try even harder this year and so we have been winning games, grinding games out and playing good football at times.
“We enjoy the hard work too so that is very good. Hopefully we can just keep going doing that and just be hungry for that as well.
“We are halfway through now and we hope to finish the season on a high so for that we have to focus on the game ahead of us.”
No signs of complacency
Despite their commanding lead, Van Dijk says there is no risk of the players becoming complacent, having taken 55 points from a possible 57 so far.
“Obviously last year we have seen anything can happen and this year we just focus on the game ahead of us and we will see at the end when it will be decided, hopefully in our favour,” he added.
“The whole experience from last year, doing well in the league, only losing one time, winning the Champions League, the whole experience has been helping us so far in our journey this season.
“We should be learning from what happened last year and I feel that is definitely what has been going on.”
100 Liverpool games
Van Dijk brought up 100 appearances for the club in the game against Wolves since arriving from Southampton almost two years ago.
“From my debut until now, I’ve been playing a lot of games and I’m very proud that I’ve been playing so many games and stayed fit,” said the Holland captain.
“Most of the games I’ve been on a consistent level as well, so I’m very happy about that.
“Obviously sometimes you could always be better but I’m not a robot, I’m not perfect. So, I’m just enjoying the ride and we’ll see where it ends.”