Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants to see more of the attitude shown by his players during the past two games.
The Reds’ 1-0 victories over Leicester and Sunderland were not pretty but stopped the rot after three Premier League games without a win.
Klopp has had standout results in his short tenure in charge such as the 4-1 victory at Manchester City and 3-1 success against Chelsea, but there have also been losses to Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Watford.
The goals against Leicester and Sunderland were scored by Christian Benteke— a feat Klopp welcomed by challenging the striker to play better.
The German said: “He made again the decisive goal in the game, and that’s the best thing a striker can do. When I said he can play better, that’s for everybody, they all can play better.
“First of all you have to fight for the result and that’s the biggest change in the last two games from the other games. Until then, we won our really good games, but when we were average then we lost.
“That’s not how it should be if you want consistently to get results. We took these very important points in a difficult game (against Sunderland). That’s very important. We defended well, we had our opportunities and Christian was there again.
“You can make your life always easier in games like this when you use one of the first two opportunities. If you don’t do this then you have to work, do all the things for this special moment, and that’s what the team did.
“It’s very important that we win games like this, important that we don’t wait for the perfect day, so that we work for the perfect day.”
Liverpool play their third game of the week against West Ham at Upton Park today and, by the time they play Exeter in the third round of the FA Cup next Friday, they will have contested five matches in 13 days.
Klopp has already voiced his concerns about the number of fixtures, and he said: “Maybe I spoke too often about this.
“I knew about this before but of course it feels different when you are in the middle of the fixtures. It’s for all teams a real challenge to be always prepared to solve your problems in hours and be ready for the next game.”
Daniel Sturridge could be back following a hamstring injury but James Milner and Divock Origi will not be fit, while Klopp must wait on midfielders Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson.
Meanwhile Slaven Bilic believes West Ham have to start thinking like a big club if they are to become one.
The Hammers lie just one point behind the Merseysiders, in seventh, and sixth-placed Manchester United.
Bilic knows that mentality has to change.
“Manchester United or Liverpool, who are one point ahead of us, they are thinking that way (about the title),” said the Upton Park boss.
“It’s all psychological because it is Liverpool. I mean they have been used to being in a title race.
“Some people would give more chance to Manchester United or Liverpool than to Leicester - without any logical reasons about what is happening on the pitch because Leicester is much better than those two clubs at the moment.
“Now, we will never say we have a chance to win the league. Whereas for Liverpool it would be normal for them to say, ‘yeah, we are nine points off’.
“It’s in the head. And it takes time to change that.”
Bilic is able to welcome back French playmaker Dimitri Payet after two months out with an ankle injury.
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