Gomez urges Liverpool teammates to make West Brom suffer
LIVERPOOL – Agence France-Presse
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has urged his teammates to bounce back from the draw in the Merseyside derby when they host West Bromwich Albion on Dec. 13.
The Reds were held 1-1 by Everton at Anfield despite having the bulk of possession in the match after Wayne Rooney’s penalty canceled out Mohamed Salah’s opening goal.
The share of the points leaves Liverpool in fourth spot, 16 points off leader Manchester City.
Gomez believes the visit of the “Baggies” so soon after that result gives Liverpool the opportunity to address its frustrations, even if West Brom tries to adopt a similar defensive approach to Everton.
“That’s one of the positives,” said Gomez.
“Obviously it’s tough, it’s a grueling schedule but it gives you a chance to try and fix it straight away.
“We’ve got to take the positives from the derby. I think we all put in a good fight and we knew the importance of the game and what it means and we all did our best.
“We’ve seen it a few times this season at Anfield -- people know the attacking threats we have and tend to sit off a bit, especially because we are so quick on the counter.”
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was criticized for leaving out Brazilian attacking duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino against Everton.
The pair is expected to return to the starting lineup for Dec. 13’s game having been introduced as late substitutes in the Merseyside derby.
Gomez regularly has to face Coutinho, Firmino in addition to Salah and Sadio Mane on the training ground and said the quality of Liverpool’s attacking players leaves him open-mouthed at times.
“Sometimes they do a few things and I am like ‘wow!’,” said the 20-year-old Englishman.
“It is not that you get used to it, you expect it from them because you know how good they are.
“Their standards never drop. That is one of the pluses at being at a club like Liverpool at this moment in time.”
Liverpool will check on the fitness of striker Daniel Sturridge for the Premier League clash at Anfield after he missed the derby with a hamstring problem.
West Brom heads for Anfield without a win in 14 Premier League games and with new manager Alan Pardew having collected just one point and no goals from his first two games in charge.
The 1-0 defeat by fellow struggler Swansea on Dec. 9 deepened fears over its Premier League survival but captain Jonny Evans says Pardew has tried to boost confidence in the camp.
“He’s trying to instil confidence in the team, he’s encouraging us to go forward and express ourselves,” said Evans.
“I think the lads are all enjoying that side of it.
“It’ll take time, work on the training field. He’ll make sure we’re well drilled and will build our confidence by doing things over and over again.”