James Milner wants Liverpool to respond to Manchester United’s dramatic improvement and ‘kick on’ in what he hopes will be a better 2021.
The champions head into January with a three-point lead at the top despite draws against West Brom and Newcastle.
Meanwhile, victory for the Red Devils over Aston Villa on Friday could see United draw level on points. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have dropped just four points since November 1 and are the Reds likeliest challengers.
Milner is happy to be top of the tree at the end of the year. But he feels it is time the Merseysiders started to put some distance between themselves and the chasing pack.
“I think it’s a positive but it seems to be at this moment in time that nobody wants to take it by the scruff of the neck,” he told liverpoolfc.com. “We’ve dropped points, everyone seems to be dropping points. United have had a good run and they’re probably the only team who are putting a run together.
“It’s important that we need to kick on now and try tscruff of the necko get a few three-pointers.”
The former Manchester City man, who turns 35 on January 4, acknowledged that there is little normality at present. And he feels the same could be said for the Premier League, with empty stadiums across the country.
“But the world is in a very strange place at the moment and it’s the same in football,” he added. “Everybody’s lives are upside down, it’s tough mentally for everybody and it’s the same in football.”
Reds facing tough title fight
Liverpool have already dropped more points in 16 matches this campaign than they did in the whole of last season. Jurgen Klopp’s side did not lose a league match until February 29 last term.
They had won all of their games except one – against United – up until that point. It was clear the unique circumstances of this campaign would have some impact on results, and on their sports betting odds.
A repeat of Liverpool’s runaway success was never likely. Nevertheless, Milner accepts they could still have done better.
“There’s points we’ve dropped this season where we feel we could have done better but to still be in the mix going into the new year is good, especially with the problems we have,” he added.
“But we are a quality squad of players who have been together a long time and we are used to winning.
“We are disappointed not to get the three points (at Newcastle) but we want to get back on the winning track as soon as possible.”
READ MORE: Pundits slates Salah dispay