If anyone in this Liverpool squad represent’s Jürgen Klopp’s refrain of “mentality monsters”, it’s Virgil van Dijk.
With the huge, huge clash between Premier League title rivals Manchester City today, Van Dijk’s focus is absolutely needed. And it sounds like he’s entirely prepared.
“Winning the Champions League can get you up in the clouds but the manager, the staff, the players, have the right mentality at the moment that we want to do it again, like other teams.
“Everyone knows how difficult it is but we are just going to go for it and see where it brings us at the end of the season. If it doesn’t bring us what we want it to be, we will just try again next year. That’s the mentality we have.
“We don’t need motivation to win the league in that kind of case. We want to win the league like City, like more teams in the Premier League, but we know how tough it is.
“City are a fantastic team, they are the reigning champions and it’s very difficult to stay top there. Hopefully we will still be up there, but we know how tough it is. That’s why we don’t want to look too far ahead.”
He was also asked about whether Liverpool should take a point today, but was dismissive of the notion. “That’s something we are not going to think about, or discuss now whether a draw is good enough,” the Dutchman said. “We want to win every game that we play and so it is Sunday of course, and they want to win as well. So we will see.
“I have no fear. You should not have fear when you go out on the pitch. That’s not something that we feel. We know we have the quality to win games, but we have to be more than at our best at times, and hopefully for the full 90 minutes, and try to grind out games as well. I think we have been doing it in some games this season.”
It’s all getting very real. Van Dijk doesn’t seem in the least bit phased.