James Milner has said that Liverpool are struggling to rebuild their confidence in what has been a difficult season for the reigning champions, insisting it is not as easy as simply flicking a switch to turn it back on once it has been lost.
The Reds have been unable to maintain their relentless form of the two previous seasons when they amassed an astonishing 196 points, and hopes of retaining the Premier League title have been severely dented by a wretched run of only two wins in nine league fixtures since Christmas.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have enjoyed good away wins against Tottenham and West Ham, as well as hitting Crystal Palace for seven just before the festive period, but defeats in three back-to-back home games has seen the boss re-prioritise to focus on ensuring a top four finish.
Vice-captain Milner says that Liverpool are doing all they can to get through each game, but the process of building momentum and confidence is not a quick one. If anything, the team’s sudden fall highlights just how incredible their form and consistency had been before.
“I think confidence is important in anything you do. [But] you can't just say 'be confident' as it doesn't happen like that,” Milner explained in comments published by the Liverpool Echo.
“After a bad run of results, a couple of [good] performances doesn't change everything. You can't do it for a game or two and then drop off it again, so it is a process and it shows how difficult football is and how outstanding we've been over the last two years with the levels we've set.
“We'd dropped that level and once you lose that confidence and that rhythm it's difficult. It makes you look back at the last few years and how good we've been, a 'results machine' if you like, and that's not easy.
“It's a strange season and things are different this time on the field as well as off the field, so we've just got to deal with it as best as we can and stick in there like everyone else.”
Liverpool’s next opportunity to try and rebuild confidence is a particularly tough one, with Saturday marking an away trip to high-flying Leicester. They also have further tough games against RB Leipzig in the Champions League and a Merseyside derby against Everton in the coming week.
Source : 90min