After a comparatively shaky winter spell that saw them still manage not to lose any of their games bar a close one against title rivals Manchester City, in recent weeks Liverpool appear to have fully hit their stride again.
They look confident, Jürgen Klopp’s newly dubbed mentality monsters. They look like they fully believe that no matter the opponent or game situation, they can get the goals and the results that they need to keep going.
“I’m feeling positive,” was defender Virgil van Dijk’s response when asked about the mood around the team and what appears to be a growing self-belief. “We are in a position right now where anything is still possible.
“You can’t prepare yourself for this—you need to experience it and deal with it, and we have players who can handle everything we’re going through. It’s the last month. We understand that we have to give even more.”
It’s hard to believe, in some ways, that the season is near over. Just four more games for Liverpool in the league. First Cardiff, then Huddersfield, then Newcastle, then Wolves. And then it’s over. One way or another.
Meanwhile, for City there are five games as Tottenham, Man United, Burnley, Leicester, and Brighton await. Until that final week of the season, at least, Liverpool’s schedule now looks the more favourable on paper.
On paper, though, will mean nothing without the performances. And even with more of the right performances and results the Reds will still be counting on City to drop at least two points somewhere along the way.
That’s a lot of pressure. Pressure to perform; pressure to not make mistakes; pressure to deliver Liverpool’s first title since 1990 while not being in full control of their own destiny. So far, they’ve handled it brilliantly.
“I’m not nervous, no,” Van Dijk added. “That’s something that I definitely never am anymore. I do get angry at times, and it’s just a reaction because we want to win games and want to give everything because we work so hard.
“On the pitch it is more excitement than nerves. You want to go out there and show the best of yourself to your fans and to your family, to perform and do well.”