Andy Robertson said that Liverpool will need to be close to perfect on Wednesday as they continued their preparation for their Champions League clash with Real Madrid.
Liverpool are trailing 3-1 from the first leg of their quarter-final tie. The away goal they earned in Spain could prove to be crucial, though, meaning they only need to score twice without reply to reach the last four. They will need to put in a significantly better performance than last week, though.
Madrid outplayed their visitors to earn the advantage at the half-way stage of the tie. Robertson admitted their hopes of a comeback are still there, however unlikely it may be.
“We’re still in the competition,” the defender said. “Maybe not many give us hope but we believe we can put in a better performance and that gives us a fighting chance.
“We need to be better. We need to put pressure on an experienced team and see how they handle it.”
To do so, though, he conceded that they will have to be close to perfect.
“We need to give a better performance than we did and give ourselves the best chance to go through,” he added. “We know we’ll need as close a performance to perfect as possible.”
Even so, the strategy should be the same as always, Robertson insisted.
“It’s important we go into it as a normal game. Play our own game, put them under pressure and try and win the game. Always the same.
“At Liverpool the pressure is to win every game. If we do that, let’s see where we’re at in the latter stages of the game.
“When the chances fall, we need to try and take them while keeping theirs to a low. We know we’re up against a European giant with their own game-plan.
“We were disappointed last week, we didn’t hide from that. Three cheap goals that could have been avoided.
“Away goal is the only bonus. We’ve given ourselves a chance. It’s up to us to use.
“Some are writing us off and we have to change that. Be as positive as we can.”
Klopp: Not taking comebacks for granted
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says the club's history of comebacks is no guarantee of success ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid, which his side trail 3-1.
Liverpool have come from behind in Champions League ties before, such as when they dispatched Barcelona on their route to winning the competition in 2019.
Robertson admitted the lack of fans will make the clash with Real Madrid different to that game, but claimed his teammates will be just as motivated.
“We need to be able to be as high in our intensity as we can,” he said. “It’s the Champions League quarters.
“I’d love 54,000 fans but it’s not possible. The lads are motivated and determined to progress. Real Madrid have been there and done it before and are determined as well though.
“The Barca game, it’s no secret, it wouldn’t be possible without the fans. They made us feel 10 feet tall. Walking out to 54,000 people who believed, it gave us the extra 5%.
“We need to create the atmosphere before we go and on the pitch. We need to have no regrets.
“If we get there, amazing. If you we don’t, at least we can hold our heads high. We know how good this competition is and we want to be in it as long as we can.
“Both [Barca and Real] are different. Barca was an incredible night and wouldn’t have been possible with the fans. The noise they made…
“Tomorrow we don’t have that against the most experienced in the tournament. A fantastic team. It’s a big task for us. Not the same.”
Robertson sends Alexander-Arnold message
One player who came under some scrutiny after the first leg – and indeed before it – was Alexander-Arnold.
Robertson’s opposite full-back recently lost his space in the England squad and played a part in one of the goals Liverpool conceded in Madrid.
However, he responded with a well-taken late winner against Aston Villa in the Premier League at the weekend, prompting a big reaction.
Robertson said it wasn’t specifically for Alexander-Arnold but described his teammate as a “world-class player”.
“I’d love to say the reaction was for Trent but I couldn’t care less who scored it,” he said. “It’s that part of the season where dropped points hurt that bit more.
“A huge goal. For me it’s a sign of a world-class player.
“I know it is hard for Trent but he should take it as a compliment that so much noise is made. For me, someone who is close to him, it’s about helping his confidence stay high because no-one can touch him like that. He’s a strong character.
“It’s just about trying to not let [criticism] affect him because when he does that I don’t think anyone can touch Trent.”