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Monday 18 December 2017

'Lack of winners costing us' - says Lallana

Midfielder says Liverpool don't have experience of success like Chelsea side

Midfielder Adam Lallana insists the Liverpool squad need to learn how to win when playing poorly, just like Premier League title favourites Chelsea Photo: PA
Midfielder Adam Lallana insists the Liverpool squad need to learn how to win when playing poorly, just like Premier League title favourites Chelsea Photo: PA

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana believes the lack of "winning" experience in the squad has cost them over the last month.

Jurgen Klopp's side have yet to win a Premier League match in 2017 and their run of two points from a possible 12 has seen them slip outside the top four for the first time since September 24.

The draw at home to Premier League leaders Chelsea was expected to be the turning point to halt their slide but the team followed that up with defeat at struggling Hull.

Liverpool's only league defeats this season have come against Burnley, Bournemouth, Swansea and Hull - all teams currently in the bottom nine.

None of the Reds' top-four rivals have a similar record with Chelsea losing only to Arsenal, Tottenham and Klopp's side.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been backed by club legends John Barnes and Ian Rush to turn the Reds’ season around Photo: Reuters
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been backed by club legends John Barnes and Ian Rush to turn the Reds’ season around Photo: Reuters

GRINDING

Antonio Conte's side have dropped just two points in 12 matches against the bottom 10 - grinding out 1-0 wins at Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Sunderland - and Lallana believes Liverpool need to discover something similar.

"You can see they have a lot of experience and that they are used to winning," said Lallana.

"They know how to win games even when not at their best. You don't have to always win by scoring five or six.

"Maybe that's an area we need to improve on. We maybe need to realise how good we are at times.

"Milly (James Milner) is probably the only one in our group who has that type of experience because it only comes from winning silverware like he did at Manchester City.

"Myself and the other players haven't won titles or loads of cups so we need to learn from him and listen to him because that type of experience is vital.

"We need to learn and get back to winning ways in the league as soon as possible."

Being top of the table in November seems a long time ago now and the focus has rightly shifted back to the pre-season aim of qualifying for the Champions League.

Chelsea are a distant 13 points ahead but former Liverpool winger John Barnes believes the race for the top four will go right down to the wire with Everton, currently seventh, only 10 points from second-placed Tottenham.

"I don't think Chelsea are out of sight but Liverpool need to improve - the title race starts in March," he said. "Liv erpool can still finish in the top four if everyone gets behind Jurgen Klopp, who is a very good coach."

FIGHT

Meanwhile, Liverpool's all-time record goalscorer Ian Rush echoed his former team-mate's sentiments: "Nothing has gone wrong, it is just what happens, people have blips and Liverpool had a blip in January and there is a long way to go.

"They're not going to win a trophy this season but there is still a chance for them to make the top four so if they can do that it would be a success."

Rush also believes striker Daniel Sturridge still has a part to play this season but needs to fight for his place.

The England international has not started a Premier League match since scoring in the 2-2 draw at Sunderland, the game which signalled the start of a malaise which has seen the club exit two cup competitions and drop out of the top four.

Sturridge, once again affected by injury, has scored just six times in 21 club games this term and his two league goals came in back-to-back matches.

Sturridge's chances for the remainder of the campaign appear to remain limited but Rush believes the 27-year-old can score the goals to fire the club back into the top four.

"Daniel Sturridge is probably the most gifted striker we have got," said Rush.

"I was made up that he didn't go in January and I hope he is still here next year but you have got to fight for your place. I think he will fight for his place.

"One thing for certain this year is that we will need Daniel Sturridge and once he gets that chance he has to take it.

"And when he does take it and starts scoring again I think he'll play a major part in Liverpool making the top four."

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