Captain Jordan Henderson says Liverpool must answer critics who claim they are faltering at the crucial moment in their Premier League title bid by improving their performances on the pitch.
A goalless draw in Sunday’s derby at Everton left Jurgen Klopp’s side a point behind Manchester City, with their destiny no longer in their own hands for the first time since December.
Liverpool, seeking a first English top-flight title since 1990, have lost just once in the league this season but have taken only 10 points from a possible 18 over the past six games to hand the initiative to the defending champions.
But Henderson dismissed suggestions they were feeling the pressure and said only actions and not words, as shown in the 3-0 and 5-0 victories over Bournemouth and Watford last month, mattered.
“It’s no good talking about it, we have to respond on the pitch,” said the England international. “There are nine games left so plenty of football to play and it is down to us to do the business on the pitch and win as many games as we can.
“Football is a lot to do with mentality. Obviously talent, which we’ve got in abundance, but we need to show mentality in the next nine games, plus the Champions League, that we can achieve what we want to achieve.”
Henderson said the fact the initiative was now with Pep Guardiola’s side made no difference to their thinking.
City still have to play Tottenham and go to Old Trafford in back-to-back league matches, are also still involved in two cup competitions and have picked up injuries to key players.
Liverpool host Spurs and Chelsea and play six of the current bottom seven in the Premier League, as well as aiming to go the distance in the Champions League.
“There have been one or two games where we have maybe dropped below the standards we have set, but overall I think we’ve given everything and we’ll carry on giving everything until the end of the season and fingers crossed it’s enough to win,” said Henderson.