James Milner says Liverpool are using a “feeling of injustice” to spur them on in the absence of Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool will be without their main defender for most of the season – and possibly all of it – after he suffered an ACL injury after a challenge from Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby.
Van Dijk will have to undergo surgery on his knee because of the injury, which could put him on the sidelines for up to nine months.
However, Liverpool rallied without him in their Champions League opener against Ajax. Fabinho dropped into defence to partner Joe Gomez in their 1-0 win.
Liverpool now face a tough run of games, which will see them face their other Champions League opponents Atalanta and Midtjylland, as well as Premier League clashes with Sheffield United, West Ham and Manchester City.
But vice-captain Milner is confident they can use the frustration felt by van Dijk’s absence – with Pickford having escaped retrospective punishment – to “fuel” their ambitions for the season.
“A lot has been going on and [there has been] a lot of emotion from all the boys,” Milner told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We are a tight-knit group and when things happen to one of us they happen to all of us, so it was a performance and we wanted to make sure we got that result for Virg.
“We need to keep doing that throughout the season but I think he will have been proud by how the boys dug in and defended and I’m sure he will have enjoyed it watching at home.
“I saw him on Tuesday and he wished us luck. It’s football. Like I say, we are a tight-knit group and unfortunately injuries are part of football.
“It makes it hard to take, how it happened, but as a group of players we have to concentrate on the next game and keep going and use that disappointment and feeling of injustice to fuel us to go on and win as many games as we can.”
Milner ready for busy schedule
With five games in the space of just over two weeks before the next international break, Liverpool will be looking to keep pushing through a difficult stretch of games.
However, Milner insists the busy schedule is part and parcel of the game now, so they will just need to get on with it.
“It’s going to be like that [busy] for a long time so we just need to keep our heads down and keep recovering [and] hopefully have a bit of luck on the injuries front.
“Obviously we’ve not had too much of that yet, but we are lucky to have a great squad of players as well and players who are ready and raring to go when needed. We’ll keep pushing, keep going and see if we can bounce back in the Premier League and get a win.”