(Reuters) - Injuries have affected Liverpool’s Premier League title defence this season but they cannot afford to lose focus if they are to win the league again, forward Mohamed Salah said.
An injury crisis with three centre backs sidelined has forced manager Juergen Klopp to play midfielders in defence and the situation may not change with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez potentially out for the season with knee injuries.
“Sure they had an impact, you lost two of your defenders. Joel (Matip) was also injured before he returned. So you have three injured players,” Mohamed Salah told beIN Sports.
“But at the end of the day, you have to handle the situation. If you want to win the league, you have to try to win all the matches.
“If you focus only on injuries, you will not win the title. But if you focus on what you have and try to deal with the situation in a different way, you may win the league.”
At this stage last season, Liverpool were leading by 10 points but now find themselves in second place, three points behind rivals Manchester United who travel to Anfield on Sunday.
Salah said the absence of fans, with games being played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had affected results.
“Some teams also win because playing without fans, whether on your pitch or away, affects you,” Salah added.
“All teams have equal opportunities to win matches. With this COVID situation, people ask: Will the league be suspended? Will it continue? Things were really difficult and now we’re back to a lockdown (in England).
“So nobody knows what to do and this uncertainty is affecting all teams... Some teams get luckier than others. I believe that all teams are close to each other in terms of standards this year.”
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.