Virgil van Dijk has admitted that he hasn’t been performing at his usual level this season and can do “much better.”
Like his team, the Liverpool defender has struggled so far this season, making a number of uncharacteristic mistakes and looking far less solid defensively than he has in the past.
That has led many to believe that he’s past his best already, especially after the Champions League 4-1 defeat to Napoli, but he’s not worried about that being the case, saying a dip in form is normal.
“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,” he said. “What we did last week in Napoli was unacceptable, all of us, and the days after that game we definitely had a reality check.
“We spoke with each other and we have to carry on. You don’t want to be in the situation but we all know the season will be so long to turn this around.”
While the team performance was much better against Ajax, with Liverpool winning 2-1, Van Dijk was beaten for the Dutch side’s goal.
Nevertheless, he says the match was a step in the right direction, but has admitted that he can play much better than he is at the moment.
“I can do much better,” he said. “I think [Ajax] was a good step in the right direction for all of us. It is like it is: if you perform well as a team everyone is going to do well if you are in the same direction. That’s always going to be the case.
“That’s the good and the bad thing about it. If we do well I obviously get praise and if we don’t then I don’t. But I still think I need to improve and that’s fine.
“I’ve said it many times, we are all human beings and we all want to do as well as we can and the same goes for me.
“I know for a fact I can do better – but we all can do better. I feel very hurt if we concede goals and don’t keep clean sheets and I feel that responsibility but that’s a good thing. I want to turn this season around not for myself but for all of us associated with the club. Let’s just go for it, enjoy it.”