Andy Robertson has dismissed suggestions Liverpool are starting to feel the pressure of being Premier League leaders, saying they are experiencing no more than a “blip” in their pursuit of their first title for 29 years.
Jurgen Klopp’s side drew 1-1 with West Ham on Monday after failing to beat Leicester last week, meaning they lead Manchester City by just three points with 13 games to go instead of a potential seven.
In both matches Liverpool have struggled for the fluency that had taken them to the top of the table, suggesting they could be at risk of throwing away their advantage, just as they did in losing the title to City five years ago.
Robertson believes the loss of the injured Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold is having an influence but feels he and his teammates have the capacity to respond.
“I wouldn’t say nerves are showing,” said the 24-year-old. “Did anyone say that when City dropped points against (Crystal) Palace and Leicester (in December)? I don’t think they did. It’s no different for us — people talk about pressure because we’ve not been in this position, but it’s February.
“Everyone needs to relax and try and enjoy the run-in. Many other clubs want to be in the position we’re in just now. Nerves aren’t showing in the changing room. It’s been two poor results and poor performances, it happens during a long season.
“We need to get back to playing the better football we can, but it’s nothing to do with nerves. We’re having a wee blip and we need to just try and get over the line in a couple of games.”
Liverpool’s injury crisis forced Klopp to use James Milner in an unfamiliar role at right-back against West Ham and he named an experimental midfield three of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Adam Lallana.
“We’ve got quite a few injuries and we need to try and get the boys back fit, but we’ve recruited and have a big enough squad that we should be able to deal with it,” said Robertson.