Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum insists the mistakes they have made this season against some of the Premier League’s lesser lights will not be repeated next season.
The Reds’ league defeats this campaign have come against Burnley, Bournemouth, Swansea, Hull, Leicester, Crystal Palace – all teams who were in the lower half of the table when they played them.
Those dropped 18 points look increasingly significant as Jurgen Klopp’s side head into the final two matches needing two wins to guarantee Champions League football next season.
It is all the more frustrating because the Reds boast the best record against their top-six rivals but their place in the top four is now under serious threat from Arsenal and Manchester United, respectively four and five points behind with one match apiece in hand.
Life has become far more difficult than it needed to be, with an unlikely title challenge foundering after a dreadful January, but Wijnaldum is confident it will all prove useful for next season.
“In a year you can learn a lot,” said the Holland midfielder.
“We are going to learn from the mistakes we made this season and we are going to take it to next season. It’s not going to happen to us again.”
A trip to West Ham, a team Liverpool have not beaten in their last five meetings and who effectively ended Tottenham’s title challenge a week ago, poses another challenge for them.
And with the recent defeat to Palace and the dire goalless draw against Southampton last weekend, Wijnaldum does not have to look too far for the warning signs.
“Every opponent in the Premier League is a warning,” he added.
“You saw with us. We played against Crystal Palace and we lost.
“It doesn’t matter who you play – you can win against anyone, you can lose against anyone.
“That is why I say I’m not really busy with winning a game, but more busy with a good performance.
“If you are busy with a good performance, something you can control, then the chance to win the game is much bigger. That is the way I’m thinking.”