Cody Gakpo has opened up on his adaptation to life at Liverpool ahead of their Champions League clash with Real Madrid.
Liverpool take on Real Madrid at Anfield on Tuesday night in the latest meeting between the clubs in recent years, the last coming last May when the Spanish side ran out 1-0 winners in the Champions League final in Paris.
“We are ready. We want to perform in this game, we want to go through and we have to be ready,” Gakpo told the media at the pre-match press conference.
“We had a difficult period but then we won two games in a row. It is normal that confidence is coming back; we are working hard to improve.”
It has been a difficult season for Liverpool who have failed to put together any real kind of form, though go into the clash having won back-to-back games in the Premier League against Everton and Newcastle, and Gakpo said there is a ‘different atmosphere’ around the club.
“That’s normal [that there’s more confidence]. You want to win games, and it is a different atmosphere when you are not. We try to keep positive and improve in every aspect.
“The games we won, we played better than before. The result is the outcome of that intensity, but it is on us to keep going and keep winning games.”
Gakpo had been prolific in the first half of the season at PSV, though didn’t score in his first six appearances for Liverpool since his January move. He has however since netted in both of Liverpool’s recent victories.
A beautiful Reds move, finished off by Cody Gakpo 😍 pic.twitter.com/hT349DKLEy
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 18, 2023
“It is a great feeling to score your first goal,” he said. “Knowing it was a really important game in the Merseyside derby was a good way to open my account, then to follow it up at Newcastle, that game was really important for us to show we are climbing back from a difficult period.”
“You have to adapt to a new league, a new environment, a new country. It is a lot,” he added.
“I’m the type of person where the total package is important. When that is okay, I feel better. My team-mates are amazing; they’ve helped me settle in and I’m really grateful for the support.”
The Netherlands international regularly played on the left during his time at PSV, though has played in a more central role since moving to Liverpool amid a number of injuries in attacking areas, and he said he is trying to adapt to play in either position.
“I’ve played a lot on the left for three years, but here and at the World Cup under Louis van Gaal I played centrally. I already tried to adapt to that and I spoke to the coach; he said it is possible to play in both positions so I’ve looked to adapt and improve.”
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