Van Dijk: We want to win very competition we participate in, we have to improve

Van Dijk: We want to win very competition we participate in, we have to improve

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has opened up on the discussions which took place after Liverpool's defeat to Watford - and why losing Jordan Henderson to injury is no excuse for poor results.

The Reds lost 3-0 against the Hornets on Saturday evening to see their undefeated run in the Premier League come to an end.

Their collapse at Vicarage Road was followed by a 2-0 loss against Chelsea in the FA Cup on Tuesday.

Following Liverpool's cup exit, Van Dijk explained: "I think that's stupid to say [Liverpool weren't bothered about the cups], in my opinion.

"Every competition we participate in, we want to win. We showed it tonight with the line-up and the way we kept going, the energy we put in.

"We tried to do as much as possible to win the game. My reaction is that I don't like losing.

"The way we lost at the weekend was totally deserved. It was a very tough day for all of us. Today we made some changes but everyone who came in did brilliantly.

"The first goal was a mistake that shouldn't happen. But we had a massive four chances in one moment to equalise I think. And then it's a different game. We wanted to keep winning every game that was ahead of us. But we deserved to lose at the weekend.

"We all knew it. We all discussed it. We got over it easily, I think, because we spoke with each other and accepted we have to improve. Tonight was a much better performance but you lose so you're out of the cup. That's the reality."

Van Dijk has been acting captain in the absence of Jordan Henderson and James Milner, the latter of whom returned to action at Stamford Bridge.

But the Dutchman thinks being without Henderson - who is sidelined with a hamstring injury - in particular is no excuse for Liverpool's recent run of form.

He added: "He's been very good for us this season. Very important. And he is our captain. We appreciate everything he does for us.

"But we have quality players all over the pitch. Everyone who's coming in, whether on the pitch or off it, has to contribute with being a leader.

"With being ready to come on, in training or when you're on the bench to challenge the players who's playing in your position.

"Obviously, we can't deny that he's been outstanding this year, that he's been very important. But the reality is everyone else has to step up." Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook
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