We’re in the home stretch. With two matches left to be played, two trophies still in the balance, Liverpool’s mental strength is being tested like never before. There is the all important season ender for the Premier League coming up against Wolves, and then of course, the Champions League final the following week.
Liverpool have used that strength to keep them in the running for the Premier League title once again, with literally a hair between the Reds and Manchester City in first place. While Liverpool secured the much needed win to keep us in the race on Tuesday evening against Southampton, it’s not over yet. Left back Kostas Tsimikas took the place of Andy Robertson on Tuesday and though the visitors went behind by a goal early in the first half, they were able to overcome that deficit and win.
“It was a very, very, very hard game. We came here to be 100 per cent focused, this was very, very difficult, but one more time this team shows very big things,” Tsimikas said to the club website.
“We have a lot of hopes about the Premier League and we go to fight for it. No matter what the result [is between] Manchester City and Aston Villa we want to win the last game in front of our fans to close the season well and it’s very, very important for us to get the win before the Champions League final.”
The pressure was certainly on after winning the FA Cup over the weekend but dropping points to Spurs the week before in a disappointing fashion. The win at Southampton couldn’t have been more desperately needed to keep the Reds in the race, and Tsimikas knew all too well how dangerous that could be.
“Of course, always these things can happen, even [if] it was from a lucky shot. The most important thing is to stick to the plan, to be 100 per cent focused and you will get your chances,” the Scouser who is Greek continued.
“This is exactly what we did, we scored two very good goals and we won. We never give up, this team shows one more time how strong mentally we are. A big congratulations to all the boys who played and we are, what a team!”
One of the biggest changes was to the squad, with Jürgen Klopp making nine changes and some regulars like Sadio Mane not even making the bench. Tsimikas made the best of his moment to make an impact - even in a squad that had hardly played together.
“Of course everybody pushes each other. I think this is the good recipe for everything. Everybody works hard, even if they are not in the squad, even if they don’t play,” Tsimikas explained.
“We are 100 per cent ready and we showed one more time that we are very strong mentally. What can I say about this team? We are all in, we go for everything and to achieve our goals.”
And for Sunday? How will our latest shootout hero approach Wolves?
“Yes of course, we go to win. No matter what the result is going to be for Manchester City, we will play to win and to be happy with our fans,” the left back said.
“In the Premier League we give absolutely everything, we deserve I think the trophy but of course Man City is one very, very good team. Of course, it was a big competition but every challenge [this season] we were there: we won the FA Cup, we won the Carabao Cup, we are in the Champions League final. We are second [in the Premier League], one point behind and I can’t say anything else about this team. I’m very proud and very happy for everybody.”
So are we, Greek Scouser.