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London (AFP) – Liverpool’s transformation this season into Premier League title contenders reflects how much they have improved, says midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.
The 28-year-old Dutch international, who scored a superb goal in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Bournemouth despite suffering from a stomach upset, admitted two successive draws had been a setback as the club chases a first league title since 1990.
But he added that garnering 65 points at this stage of the season exceeded their expectations when the campaign got underway.
“We had two draws in a row and that didn’t feel that good,” said Wijnaldum.
“But if we had been told that at the beginning (of the season) you will have this kind of points (65) everyone would have taken it.
“It could be better but we must appreciate where we stand.
“You can see the improvement. You could see at the beginning of the season we improved. just have to keep it going.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is taking the squad to the Spanish resort of Marbella for a warm-weather training break this week.
He can afford to do that as Liverpool are not involved in next weekend’s FA Cup, meaning they return to action in the Champions League at home to Bayern Munich on February 19.
Wijnaldum, who cost Liverpool a reported £22 million ($28 million) when he signed from Newcastle in 2016, is optimistic they can cope with competing on two fronts.
“We have to see how it is going to work. I think we can play both,” he said.
“You never know but a lot of times it goes well. Last season the Champions League went well and we dropped a lot of points in the league.
“But I don’t think it was because of the Champions League.”