Xherdan Shaqiri says Liverpool are getting their confidence back and insists the club ‘has to be successful’ following their disappointing form this season.
Liverpool currently sit eighth in the Premier League following a dismal defence of the title they won in emphatic fashion last season, the Reds having seen their campaign decimated by a number of injuries to key personnel.
Defensive issues, in particular, have proven costly with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all ruled out for the remainder of the season, leaving the club without each of their recognised senior options at centre-back.
Liverpool’s fortunes have reached new lows since the turn of the new year, an unbeaten home record of 68 games ended with defeat to Burnley at Anfield, a loss which sparked an unprecedented run of six consecutive home defeats.
Shaqiri has now discussed his side’s dismal form on Merseyside in recent weeks and believes the Reds are feeling the impact of playing without fans, insisting his side are missing the advantage handed to them by the Anfield support.
“Everybody knows how our fans are when they push us,” he told Sky Sports. Everybody knows how many games we have managed to come back in if we concede a goal. I think there are many, many games where you can see that, many examples. Of course, we miss them a lot.
“For the smaller teams, it is easier to come to Anfield with no fans. There is no pressure. You can see that in many ways and in many games. The smaller teams have more of a chance.
“Obviously, the performances have not been what we wanted in the last few months.”
Liverpool travel to face Wolves this evening looking to keep alive their distant hopes of securing a top-four finish, the champions currently eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea ahead of their game-in-hand at Molineux
Shaqiri is hopeful his side can secure a positive result as they bid to regain confidence ahead of the run-in, and says Jurgen Klopp continues to give the squad the ‘right directions’ as they bid to return to winning ways.
“We need to get back on track and get the confidence back to win games. But we are a big team and I am pretty sure that we are going to get back to winning.
“We speak a lot together and the coach gives us the right directions. I don’t want to tell everyone what is said in our dressing room but we are speaking a lot and we know we have to come back stronger and give what he wants on the pitch. We have to stay positive.”
Liverpool have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after beating RB Leipzig in comfortable fashion over two legs, including a 2-0 win in the return fixture last week.
Shaqiri is hopeful that result can help spread confidence amongst the squad ahead of the clash with Wolves this evening, insisting Liverpool are a club that ‘has to be successful’.
“We are going there with better confidence now, for sure, after the Leipzig game where we won and kept a clean sheet. That can drive us on, especially in this game before the international break. If we win three points we can go to the national team in a good mood.
“We are trying. We just need to improve performances and then I am sure we can succeed again. We have to stay positive and work hard.
“This club has to be successful. It has to be at the top.”