Stoke City defender Glen Johnson is confident that they can turn around their Capital One Cup semi-final first leg defeat to Liverpool with an improved performance at Anfield.
The Potters struggled to break down Liverpool in the first leg at the Britannia stadium, and a 37th-minute goal from winger Jordon Ibe was enough to seal a 1-0 win for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
But former Liverpool full-back Johnson has no doubt that Stoke are capable of causing the Reds problems at Anfield in the second leg on January 26.
With Liverpool’s home form under scrutiny this season, Johnson believes that they can take advantage and come away with a result.
“It is a tough place to go and play. They are a good side,” said the 31-year-old.
“But we are better than we were in this first leg. And if they do have problems at Anfield and we are on our game, then I’m sure we will be right in there.
“We’re still in the tie, that’s for sure.
“I think we could have nicked a goal, but to be fair they probably could have nicked a couple more. So in the end, 1-0 probably isn’t a bad result.”
Stoke had lost only four of their last 15 Barclays Premier League games going into the tie, and won eight of those, including recent home victories over Manchester City and Manchester United.
Those triumphs have seen attacking trio Bojan Krkic, Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri shine for Mark Hughes’s side.
But they failed to do so in the Liverpool match, a fourth fixture in 10 days for which Potters boss Mark Hughes named the same starting XI.
Johnson says it was “unfortunate” that their three deadly match-winners were not firing in the first leg, but admits the whole team must take responsibility for the result.
“Obviously they are match-winners,” Johnson said.
“And usually if one is not firing, the others are. So it is unfortunate.
“But they don’t win a game on their own and they don’t lose it on their own. There are 11 of us out there.
“I think a few of the lads lost a bit of confidence after a slow start.
“In the games we have done well in, we have started quick, with us on the front foot, which gives everyone confidence and belief they can win.
“Liverpool started quick and tried to press us. Our passing was a bit sloppy and it encouraged them to keep doing what they were doing.”