16/05/2022May 17 LIVE
Virgil Van Dijk savours Liverpool’s shot at quadruple after injury struggles
Van Dijk’s fitness and form has been the subject of scrutiny since he returned in August from 10 months out.
Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk admits it would be a dream to win an “almost impossible” quadruple.
However, the influential centre-back is more focused on not taking for granted what has been an incredible campaign so far, having missed so much football with a knee injury last season.
“All this talk about quadruple or treble is from the outside world and could put extra pressure on us,” he said after Liverpool reached their first FA Cup final under Jurgen Klopp with victory over Manchester City.
“Nobody did the quadruple, there is a reason for it – because it is almost impossible to do.
“It’s something that everyone would dream about, to win every competition you participate in, but we will see what it brings.
“City are still in the pole position in the league, we are facing Villarreal in the Champions League (semi-finals), who are going to be very difficult.
“Anything can happen, with other teams as well. We just take it day by day and game by game.
“It’s also not something that we take for granted that everyone is fit.”
Van Dijk’s fitness and form has been the subject of scrutiny since he returned in August from 10 months out after surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee.
But he has dispelled any fears about any lingering after-effects and will have a key part to play in whether they can add to the Carabao Cup they won in February.
“I was not a great player back in the days, I was quite a late bloomer – that’s why I enjoy my career even more,” he added.
“For me, coming back from the injury having seen everything from the sideline last year, to be in all competitions still is something I won’t take for granted.
“I’ve played almost over 50 games this season, so that is something I won’t take for granted.
“I just want to keep it going, stay fit, win games and see what it brings and get ready for the World Cup as well.”
The win over City was Liverpool’s first victory over them in six meetings, having played out a pair of 2-2 draws already this season.
But with just one point separating the pair in the Premier League, defender Trent Alexander-Arnold does not believe it will have much of a psychological effect on the run-in.
“I don’t think as a team we need performances to give us confidence,” he said.
“We look around the dressing room, we look at the manager and the players we have got: it just speaks for itself.
“I can only speak for our mentality. Each game we have, we go into wanting to win and kind of expecting to win.
“I don’t know what the mentality is like in the City dressing room. Over the last few years, they have shown that they have got strong character and that setbacks don’t really bother them too much.
“All we can hope for is that a team takes points off them and we are in a position to pounce on that.
“Hopefully it won’t be once in a lifetime, but this is obviously the first time we have been in this position and to still be in with a shot of winning every trophy in the middle of April is outstanding.
“It shows the quality we have got in the squad to win games. It’s about making sure we carry on and sustain it for another month or so.”