Liverpool focused on controlli

Liverpool’s Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (R) celebrates with Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (L) and Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino (C) after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 16, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

Liverpool focused on controlling their own destiny

Georginio Wijnaldum says Jurgen Klopp is making sure all his Liverpool players remain grounded in the title race.

Liverpool focused on controlli

Liverpool’s Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri (R) celebrates with Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (L) and Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino (C) after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 16, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum says that the Reds are completely focused on taking on the opponent in front of them despite the distraction of the title race.

Wijnaldum says the boss has been doing all he can to ensure his charges remain focused on garnering the points that could end Liverpool’s wait for a league title at 29 years.

“When we played Wolves away [the Friday before Christmas] a lot of the players didn’t even know against who City or Tottenham were playing,” the 28-year-old told reporters ahead of the contest against Arsenal at Anfield

“We were just focused on our own game and trying to get the most out of that one. That is why it goes so well.

“We are only focused on the things we can control. We can control our own performance. We are only busy with that.

“If you are maybe less focused than normal, then you have a manager in Jurgen who will tell you directly that there is no space for doing less or enjoying things too much. He says keep both feet on the ground.”

Wijnaldum has been afforded some rest over the Christmas period, playing only a portion of the matches against Wolves and Newcastle United, his former club. The midfielder says everyone in the squad wants to play every minute but they understand the importance of rotation.

“I think everybody wants to play every game, but you play so many games and the way we play with a high intensity sometimes you need a rest,” he said.

“It is the manager’s decision. Sometimes it is a decision you don’t like but he knows what is best for the team. Up to now it goes quite well.

“People get a rest when they need one and the level stays the same. I think that is due to a mixture of things: the coaching, the players’ professionalism in the way we work together and the way we help each other out. We got the results we needed.

“I am happy if he chooses me because like I said we all want to play but it is not possible to play every game because of the way we play with lots of running, high intensity, then you have to use the squad, especially around this part of the season.”

Liverpool host Arsenal from 19:30 (SAST) on 29 December.

Watch Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match press conference ahead of the match vs Arsenal.