James Milner is adamant that the Premier League title is still in Liverpool’s hands despite their 1-1 draw against West Ham at the London Stadium on Monday night.
For the second game in succession, Liverpool took the lead through a Sadio Mane opener before conceding an equaliser from a set-piece, after suffering likewise in a 1-1 stalemate with Leicester City at Anfield.
Following Monday night’s result, Manchester City have the chance to move ahead of Liverpool at the top of the table on goal difference should they beat Everton at Goodison Park, although Jurgen Klopp’s side will have a game in hand.
Having dropped points against teams outside of the top six for the first time this season twice in a week, Liverpool, who are without a top-flight title since 1990, have been accused of letting the pressure of being title favourites affect them.
But Milner, a two-time Premier League champion with Manchester City, has insisted that his teammates should embrace being involved in a title race.
It is like that in football. You have ups and downs in your career and you have ups and down within a season,’ he said after the game.
It is about not getting too down and there is such a long way to go, it wouldn’t surprise me if the lead changes hands all the way to the end, but we have to be confident we can get the job done.
It is in our hands and there is a long, long way to go. I think we should enjoy being in this position, these are the positions you want to play in.
It is a lot worse at the bottom end of the league when you are fighting against relegation or playing for nothing in mid-table, so let’s enjoy it and push forward together – ourselves, the fans and the whole club – and embrace it.
He added: ‘Nothing has changed, we are still top, which is a nice place to be at this stage of the season. We’ve got a long, long way to go and lots can change, but let’s enjoy being in this position and let’s enjoy our football – and hopefully get a few players back, because we have had a bit of a bad run with injuries and a bit of bad luck.
Everyone gets it at different times of the season; this is our time and it is how we deal with it. Going through this phase, teams changing and things like that, it is how you deal with it as a squad, and the squad has stuck together.
As well as City, Tottenham Hotspur boosted their own title chances courtesy of a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at Wembley on Saturday, secured by Heung-Min Son’s late strike and they have reduced the gap on Liverpool to five points.
Liverpool face a critical point in their season with league games against Manchester United and Everton to come, as well their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich