PETALING JAYA: Liverpool had one hand on the English Premier League trophy but then have had to spend three months just waiting, with so many uncertainties.
Now that the league is back, it is time to finish the job, silence the critics and end the league with as many point as possible, said Liverpool midfielder James Milner (pic).
The Reds’ march to the crown resumes with a mouth-watering derby against Everton at Goodison Park on Monday. Victory on the other side of Merseyside will see them needing just one to lift their 19th league title after a 30-year hiatus.
There had earlier been questions over the legitimacy of their crown if the league had been cancelled but Milner, who has his eyes firmly on the prize, rubbished any claims that team were worthy champions.
Liverpool now lead the standings with 82 points after 29 matches and a clear 25-point gap from second-placed Man City.
“It’s normal, we just have to ignore the jibes from the rival fans and keep working hard... before the lockdown, we were in a good position in the league and we will try to continue our hard work, ” said Milner in a virtual media session organised by Astro yesterday.
“There will be arguments and opinions, this is why football is loved. For us, we just need to get the job done. We need to finish as high as possible this season.”
What is not normal will be the absence of fans in the closed-door matches.
The Merseyside derby is known for its intense rivalry and the atmosphere in the stands which had been the driving force for players from both sides.
Milner conceded that the atmosphere will be missed but the match would still be intense and the quiet of the stadium may see the microphones picking up some colourful language on the pitch.
“It’s the derby, closed-door or not, both sides are desperate for the win and we are playing for bragging rights. We need to go from the start whistle as it will be a tough game and I hope we can finish the match strong, ” said the 34-year-old former England international.
“We will obviously miss the atmosphere, we share the drive with fans and our fans travel from all over the world to support us and we know the fans are desperate for this title.”
The only sad part will be that the fans will not be join the team in celebrations when the skipper Jordan Henderson lifts the cup, hopefully on June 25 when they face Crystal Palace at home.
Did you find this article insightful?