While January 2017 wasn’t a month that Liverpool fans are likely to look back on fondly, February has fared better for the Reds. The biggest victory so far this month has been against their top four challengers Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho believes that the team needs to use that resounding victory as a template for how to defeat Leicester City on Monday.
“It was a very difficult and very important game, and we won,” the Brazilian told Liverpool’s official site.
“We were coming from a winless run, a complicated moment. We lacked a little confidence and we have regained that confidence.
“The team started playing well again, the way we had played, so we have to look at this game as an example to follow for the next games.”
Leicester City is a team stuck in a nauseatingly swift downward spiral. They’ve just sacked their manager Claudio Ranieri, and after Saturday’s games, now sit in the drop zone. They’re ripe for the picking, but also a team desperate not to make the worst kind of history after their shocking title win last season. They will be playing as if they have nothing left to lose.
Coutinho is well aware of the danger that Jamie Vardy and co. present to the Reds.
“Leicester are last season’s champions, so they have a lot of quality. There are very good players there, so it’s sure to be a difficult game,” he added.
“Every game in the Premier League is difficult, all teams are well prepared, and so we have to be well prepared.
“It’s very important for us [to follow up the victory against Spurs]. I think that, in our situation, all the coming games will be of equal importance.
“We have to get on the field 100 per cent focused and try to do the same as we did in the game with Tottenham.”
It will be 16 long days since Liverpool played a competitive match when they face off against the titleholders on Monday. While no one would begrudge the players some rest, Coutinho is feeling the frustration of over two weeks without a game even while recognizing the benefits.
“Yes, it’s difficult to not play for some time because we see others and we want to play so we can achieve our results that we need at the end of this season,” he said.
“But it was also important because we had enough time together to work well as a team, and we had two full weeks of training, so that’s important to us as well.”
It’s been a long wait for fans to see Liverpool back in action, but on Monday we’ll finally get to see what good all this preparation has done the team.