Joe Gomez insists Liverpool’s “hungry” players are desperate to play in Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie with Everton, despite their congested fixture list.
Jurgen Klopp’s side head into the second Merseyside derby of the season at Anfield on the back of 11 matches in 33 days, 10 of those ending in victory.
The gruelling run has taken its toll, with Naby Keita joining Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri on the sidelines.
Klopp may be forced to use either Virgil van Dijk or Gomez at centre-back against Everton, but the latter is more than happy to put his body on the line.
“For me, I love every derby and it is a special game, every time,” he told reporters. “Regardless of whether it is a Premier League game or not, we go into it looking to win and I think that is self-explanatory.
— Joe Gomez (@J_Gomez97) January 3, 2020
“That is something that we look forward to and whatever will be will be. Everyone wants to play.
“I think if you asked everyone in the dressing room they all have that desire to play every game and I think that is what is important for us in this team. There is a real hunger and you feel it.
“There is no: ‘oh I want to play this game and chill that one’. I think that shows and that is why when everyone comes in, the lads are playing well. They are really participating and helping the team.
“There is no telling what the gaffer will do, but we are used to the quick turnaround now and with four days it was one more [day off] so it was nice to get that extra day of recovery.
“At the same time, we want to win things, and it is the Merseyside derby and we never want to lose that so we just take it one game at a time and just keep it going.”
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) January 3, 2020
Gomez recently returned to the side and has helped Liverpool to five successive clean sheets in the Premier League alongside central-defensive partner Van Dijk.
“I am just taking it a game at a time,” he said. “It is obviously nice to get momentum when you play games but I think the main thing is just to keep focus and take it one game at a time.
“We are in a good place and it is a joy to be a part of this team. I think everyone will just keep pushing and plugging away and we just have to keep pushing as a team and as individuals.
“I think in the dressing room as well, there are so many that are leaders and are keeping everyone on the straight and narrow. That is the focus – one game at a time.
“Obviously, I am enjoying playing and getting some momentum. I get on well with Virg and we enjoy playing together.
“I think as a unit, as a team, it is nice to be a part of it and get a run of games, so I am not dwelling on that, I just keep plugging away.”
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