Matip confident of strong Liverpool finish to campaign


(Reuters) – Liverpool defender Joel Matip believes they can learn from the adverse results they suffered earlier this year and ensure a strong finish to their Premier League campaign.

The Merseysiders have been knocked out of the FA Cup and League Cup while their league title bid has faltered as they have dropped to fourth, 14 points adrift of leaders Chelsea after just three wins in all competitions since December.

“You learn a lot in negative moments and I believe that this can make us stronger as a team and as individuals,” Cameroonian Matip told the club magazine.

Consecutive home victories over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who are fifth, have given Matip the belief that Liverpool can salvage their stuttering campaign.

“Of course, it’s nice that we haven’t lost too many points when we have played against the leading sides, but the fact is that you only get three points for a win whether that is against the top team in the division or the bottom,” Matip added.

“You cannot change the past but you can influence the future — so that is the way we must look at it.”

On Sunday, Liverpool host 12th-placed Burnley, one of five teams to inflict league defeats on Juergen Klopp’s men this term, before visiting third-placed Manchester City on March 19.

“The next game is always the most important,” added Matip.

“We can look at the Premier League table all we like now, but the only table that counts is the one that is published at the end of the season.”

Fourth-placed Liverpool occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot on 52 points, two points ahead of Arsenal, who have played a game less. They trail City, who also have a game in hand on the Merseysiders, by three points and Spurs by four.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris)

More from our Sister Sites