Soccer

Andy Robertson: Liverpool doing well and must now look to 'attack Christmas period'

Andy Robertson believes Liverpool’s point at Manchester City on Sunday has left them well placed amid this season’s unrelenting schedule.

The champions lost top spot in the Premier League over the course of the weekend but were satisfied to leave the Etihad Stadium with a 1-1 draw and Robertson feels they are doing well to be third in the circumstances.

“We are always hungry for more but we have to be happy,” he told liverpoolfc.com.

“I think when we started getting some injuries and lost a couple of players with Covid-19, everyone expected the wheels to fall off.

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“But we’ve managed to steady the ship a little bit and pick up some great results. Long may that continue and long may we keep building our confidence and building our performances.

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“I think this was one of our best performances in a while and hopefully we come back from internationals full of confidence and we can really kick on because we are a good team.

“I hope we go and attack this Christmas period because it’s going to be hectic.

“But we have dealt with it pretty well in previous seasons and that’s what we need this season.”

There has been little let-up this term for the Reds with midweek Champions League and Carabao Cup fixtures crammed in around the revised Premier League programme.

This pattern will continue after what, for many players, will be a three-game international break over the next fortnight. There will then be more midweek Premier League games throughout the winter months.

The nature of the calendar has raised concerns about player welfare – with rival bosses Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, who have both been hampered by significant injury lists this season, making complaints clear after the game.

Trent Alexander-Arnold became Liverpool’s latest casualty as he limped off with a calf injury in the second half.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola urge Premier League to allow five substitutes

Klopp says it is a “necessity” for clubs to have five substitutes per match in the Premier League, while Manchester City boss Guardiola has labelled the current three subs limit a “disaster”.

The Liverpool manager has rejected claims that reintroducing the five substitutes rule, which was briefly used last season after Project Restart, could favour the ‘big six’ and insists player welfare should be the priority this season.

“All the teams have to understand why it’s so helpful. It’s not an advantage, it’s a necessity. 100 per cent,” said Klopp.

“In all other countries it happens and here we make a bit more fun of the competition by having only three subs. That is really incredible, so we have to talk again.”

Guardiola says he fully agrees with Klopp that the limit must be increased.

“All around the world, it’s five substitutions, but here we believe we are more special people,” said Guardiola.

“We don’t protect the players, and that’s why it’s a disaster. In this calendar, especially. I will demand, if the people allow, we have to come back to five substitutions.

“If not, it’s difficult to sustain it.”

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