Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet admits there can be no excuses for their disastrous downturn in form since the turn of the year.
The Reds have won just two of 12 matches in 2017 – exiting two cup competitions – and having been in second place and six points behind leaders Chelsea on New Year’s Eve, they are now fifth.
The 14-point gap to the leaders is virtually insurmountable but of more concern are sixth-placed Manchester United, seven points behind them at the start of the year but now only a point behind with a match in hand.
“There will be a few things we could say: we could say we had a few injuries, we’ve had a lot of games, Sadio (Mane) went to the African Nations Cup – but in the end that’d all be about excuses and we don’t want to look for them. It’s about looking forward,” Mignolet told the club’s official website.
“We know January wasn’t really the best of months but we don’t want to look back.
“We have an opportunity again against Arsenal and that’s where we have to look forward.
“We showed at the Emirates at the beginning of the season that we can get a result (they won 4-3 on the opening day), play really good football and create chances against Arsenal.
Which team is most likely to miss out on a Champions League spot?
“That’s what we have to look to do again. It’s the next game that counts and that’s why we’re looking forward.
“You can use (criticism) as some sort of energy to get yourselves back up again and push yourselves even further and harder, looking forward to the next opportunity. That’s what we have to do.
“It’s a new game, a new 90 minutes to play and this weekend it’ll be the only thing that matters.”