A strong message from Virgil van Dijk to Manchester United as Liverpool returns to the location of the recent “hurt”

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As Old Trafford looms once more, Virgil van Dijk thinks Liverpool will use the “hurt” of their defeat at the hands of Manchester United to drive their Premier League title chase.

When Liverpool returns to Old Trafford this weekend, Virgil van Dijk believes they will use the “hurt” of their FA Cup loss to Manchester United last month as motivation for winning the Premier League title.

And with Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Alisson Becker all getting closer to making their respective comebacks next week, the captain of Liverpool feels that the Reds’ fortunes on the injury front are finally starting to turn.

After a 3-1 victory against Sheffield United on Thursday night, Liverpool leads the Premier League going into the weekend’s games. However, they will host United, one of their eight remaining opponents, on Sunday afternoon, in what is anticipated to be one of their hardest games yet.

Less than a month ago, the Reds were defeated in Manchester and eliminated from the FA Cup at the quarterfinal stage after a 4-3 loss in overtime. Reds captain Van Dijk said the pain from that dramatic loss still hurts and urged his teammates to use it constructively on Sunday.

“Of course it is still fresh, it was very disappointing, losing is never good,” Van Dijk stated. “It ached for a full day following the game, especially the manner we lost that day.

“We had to swiftly move to the national team, but you want to get to Wembley and play that semi-final. However, since it will be a significant issue once more, the focus will now be on recuperation and what we can do better to counter them.

“What should we improve upon? Win the match! They persuaded the audience to support them early in the game, which gave them a boost. Although giving up the goal was frustrating, we took control of the game and scored two excellent goals, though we still had room for improvement.

“However, we managed to keep them alive, and they took full advantage of it. They deserve credit for that, but we’re heading there on Sunday to make amends and guarantee the three points.

“At Liverpool, our first goal is to win each and every game. We are aware of its significance and magnitude to the outside world, but for us, we are in a point where losing is not an option, thus we are heading there to get the three points.

“We are aware that it would be difficult, but they will also face difficulties. They need to recuperate and get ready for a challenging task because they played a hard game tonight. I’m excited about it; let’s see if we can finish the task.

“The games we play against each other are usually a little bit different from one another; in terms of results, it doesn’t really matter what happened a few days or a week earlier. It’s significant to fans and teams alike on its own.

“We’re going to give it everything we’ve got, and we need everyone to be at their best, with the only purpose of trying to win the game. [Compassion] seems to be the key. It can be part of the game to speed things when you’re nervous because the audience might get nervous as well.

“The key to making a difference will be maintaining composure and making the proper decisions while remaining fierce and aggressive. I believe that we have demonstrated that quality for a very long time and that we must continue doing so, not just tonight.”

Curtis Jones and Andy Robertson made their comebacks in Thursday night’s victory, and Klopp disclosed on Wednesday that Jota, Alisson, and Alexander-Arnold will all resume full training the following week.

“You don’t want players out in the first place; we need everyone back as soon as possible and as strong of a squad as possible,” Van Dijk continued. The return of these players is encouraging, but it is also our duty to maintain our fitness.

Even though you can’t always control everything, you still need to make every effort to prepare. We need every player for these next eight Premier League games and, hopefully, the following five Europa League games. Hopefully, more players will return in the next week or two.

Van Dijk was as effusive in his compliments towards Alexis Mac Allister, who excelled with a performance that featured an incredible goal to make the score 2-1 for the game. The skipper is happy with his teammate, the Argentina midfielder who has been playing well lately.

“I think from day one you could see he was such a quality player with and without the ball,” Van Dijk stated. He performed admirably and gave us a final line of support today in his role as a No. 6.

“Having someone there to guard them allows the other members of the squad to attack without having to worry too much about what is coming up behind them. He’s been playing well, and that’s what we need—everyone giving it their all in an effort to change things. He was crucial today with a fantastic strike.”

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