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Wijnaldum: “It’s Important to Have a Squad That Can Replace Each Other”

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The midfielder weighs in on this weekend’s victory and the weeks ahead.

AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

It wasn’t the best of starts for Liverpool this weekend, but the day just kept getting better and better. After seeing Bournemouth off 4-0 in the morning, the Reds got to sit back and watch Chelsea finally end Manchester City’s unbeaten streak this season. Liverpool are now top of the league (at least till next week) and are the only undefeated team in the Premier League this season. Still, midfielder Gini Wijnaldum isn’t prepared to call this weekend “perfect.”

“It would have been complete if we’d done the first half much better,” he told the club’s official website. “But in the second half we did what we usually do with the counter-press; that’s how we scored the second goal, when Mo scored. That’s the game we want to play — a high press when we lose the ball, counter-press to create chances, and also play to create chances. That went well in the second half.”

“It was a good game but if you want the perfect game, we had to play a better first half.”

With things going well at home, Liverpool turn to the Champions League this week, and their last chance to make the knockout rounds. Gini, like the rest of us, believes it all comes down to effective squad rotation.

“It’s important to have a squad that can replace each other,” he said. “Everyone knows in the Premier League — and especially when you play in the Champions League — you play a lot of games, so you need a big squad. If everyone can replace everyone and keep the level, it’s really important.

“I hope we can stay fresh until the end of the season and injury-free. Then I think we can do big things. We’re in a run right now and we have to make sure we stay in this run to succeed.”