The Liverpool left-back admitted there has been a problem with conceding first after Manchester United raced into a 2-0 lead
Andy Robertson has said the Liverpool squad must ‘pull our fingers out’ after Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester United – but added that harmony within the group is good after an on-pitch argument between James Milner and Virgil Van Dijk.
The Reds were once again lacklustre in the opening phases of the game, conceding after 16 minutes when Jadon Sancho slotted into the bottom corner with time and space in the box – a goal which led to Milner and Van Dijk exchanging words. Marcus Rashford made it 2-0 after half-time, exposing Liverpool’s high-line, before Mohamed Salah’s header forced a nervy 10 minutes.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have now gone behind in all three of their league games this season, but where they managed to salvage a point against Fulham and Crystal Palace, Erik Ten Hag’s side held strong to secure their first win of the season and take them above the Reds. And Robertson admitted after the result that conceding first has become a glaring and regular problem.
It’s definitely not been the start of the season we wanted, it’s been really poor,” Robertson told Sky Sports. “We gave every team a goal start and that’s the base of the game, you can’t keep giving yourself an uphill battle, we’ve conceded an early goal again, started slow again that’s what needs to change. You can’t keep going behind especially, in the warmup it’s the quietest I’ve ever heard this stadium. They wanted something to lift them and unfortunately we gave them it.
We need to pull our fingers out quickly, we need to come together as a team because we can’t keep going out there, it’s easy talking about it in the changing room, before the game but we have to go out and do it. We have to be a team that starts the game well, puts the pressure on the team not the other way aroun
“That’s three games this season, maybe Crystal Palace is different. We started the game well but Fulham started better than us, they started better than us today. Last season, Wolves, Real Madrid, Southampton, it needs to change, in this league you can’t keep giving them a head start now that’s what we’re doing
Cameras quickly zoned in on Milner and Van Dijk after Sancho gave Manchester United the lead, with the Reds midfielder clearly furious that the Dutchman failed to react and step out. And the 36-year-old again pointed the finger at Van Dijk in the second-half in another heated exchange.
But Scotland international Robertson insisted that such confrontations come from a frustration within the squad after another sub-standard performance, rather than any problems with harmony within the squad – the 28-year-old was also adamant that the Reds will kick on this season after a tough start.
We started off slow, of course we’re frustrated, we’re a team who want to win games but right now that’s not happening,” The Reds left-back added. “But we’ve got to stick together, we’re a tight unit, things need to be said and we need to stick together. Things will get better and I do believe that but it’s not been the start we wanted, we’re far behind we want to be.
“This league is unforgiving, we need results quickly, we need to start kicking into gear. Once we start doing that, I’m sure we’ll look back on this and that’s what kickstarted it but we need our first three points that’s for sure. We’ve always been a hard-working team, passionate, we need to keep doing that but be clinical in both boxes. If we do that I believe that they will come quickly.