James Milner admits he’s been impressed with Liverpool’s ability to win when not at their best this season, report the Liverpool Echo.
Milner said the number of late goals and tight wins Liverpool have earned is testament to the team.
The vice-captain said: “We all know how well we can play, we proved it last year when we have blown teams away in certain periods.
“But when we haven’t been playing well and had to grind it out and go into the 90th minute to win games, that’s what has impressed me more, digging out the clean sheets in the tight games.”
Milner isn’t wrong, and this trait has been something that we haven’t seen much in Liverpool in recent years.
It is often hailed as the trademark of champions, winning even when you’re not at your best.
Liverpool have done that on a number of occasions this season to see them continue to battle for the title.
Scrappy wins against Huddersfield, Fulham, Crystal Palace, Everton and Brighton epitomise this winning habit the Reds have found this season.
Sometimes, the football hasn’t been the trademark ‘heavy metal football’ that Klopp holds dear.
But the pragmatism that Liverpool have shown this season is a testament to how much the team and the manager have grown.
They realised that they needed to be more compact and solid sometimes, rather than vast and expansive – in all areas.
It shows that Liverpool are evolving and learning to find ways to win when attacking teams into submission doesn’t work.
Milner isn’t the only one who’s been impressed by this trait, with Klopp often commenting on his team’s endeavour.
What is certain is that drive and never-say-die attitude will be needed plenty more before the end of the season.