While many of his teammates went off to play for their countries over the international break, Fabinho stayed back at the AXA Training Centre to train and get himself to full fitness. The defensive midfielder spent most of this season playing at centre-half out of necessity, but now he’s excited to get to return to his preferred position to close out the season.
Speaking with the official site, Fabinho talked about the unique challenges the team and he personally has faced, and how he hopes there’s enough time to turn their fortunes around.
“It was a different season because we play almost all the season without fans – the fans are really important for us,” Fabinho admitted. “For me especially, it was a little bit different because I played a long time as a centre-half, so I learned playing this position and I think I did a good job in this position as well. Now I’m back in the midfield and I will try to help the team and give my best as well.”
The Reds currently sit at seventh place in the league with nine games left to play. They are five points behind fourth place Chelsea going into their game against Arsenal. Fabinho believes that their target is a Champions League spot for next season.
“This should be our goal now, being in the top four. Of course, this will not be easy. We have to win almost every game that we have but I think we are capable of it,” he declared. “First of all, we have to believe that this is possible and then just play our best football. As I said, everyone is in a good mood, everyone is ready for this decisive part of the season and we have to just play our best football if you want to celebrate good things at the end of the season.”
Of course, making it into the top four isn’t the only way that Liverpool can ensure a spot in next year’s European competition. A few days after today’s match against Arsenal, the Reds will take on Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, a competition they won two seasons ago.
Fabinho, however, refuses to let him focus shift away from the Arsenal match.
“We don’t have to think about Real Madrid because Arsenal will be a really hard game. Our ambitions and our objectives is not only the Champions League, it’s in the Premier League as well. So we have to focus on Arsenal and play our best football on Saturday,” he said.
Arsenal welcome Liverpool to the Emirates this evening from midtable. They’ll have plenty to play for as they look to turn their own fortunes around and claw their way back up into the top six.