Liverpool can still aim for league title after Sunderland draw, says Dejan Lovren

Liverpool can still aim for league title after Sunderland draw, says Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren expressed the frustration the team felt after the draw against David Moyes' Sunderland, but the Croatian still believes the Reds can push for the title.

Ninad Barbadikar

Despite dropping points in their 2-2 draw at SunderlandLiverpool defender Dejan Lovren believes that his side are still well on course for a title push this season.

The Reds threw away three points to a lowly Sunderland side in a frustrating afternoon in which Jürgen Klopp's men failed to put the Black Cats away, Jermain Defoe scoring two penalties to twice peg the Merseyside outfit back after Daniel Sturridge and Sadio Mane's goals.

Lovren bemoaned the poor decision-making from the referee, as well as a less than satisfactory performance, as he spoke about the contributing factors to the Stadium of Light stalemate.

It was a missed opportunity for Liverpool to significantly cut short the points gap between themselves and league leaders Chelsea, who remain five points ahead despite losing to Mauricio Pocchettino's Tottenham side recently at White Hart Lane - Liverpool missing the chance to cut that gap to three.

Lovren admits draw felt like a defeat

Lovren spoke to the ECHO after Sunderland and expressed that conceding the late equaliser was "very tough" but insisted that Liverpool are still very much in the title race, with challenging fixtures  against Manchester United and Chelsea coming up later this month.

Lovren admits that the draw "felt like a defeat" and that the feeling was worsened by the fact that they had just recently beaten Manchester City less than 48 hours earlier.

The Croatian international nevertheless admitted that he and his team-mates have to "keep their heads high" and added that gaining a point from a game is still "better than nothing."

Lovren spoke about how there is still a long way to go for the season to finish, he said: "There is still half a season to go. There are so many games in front of us and in front of Chelsea." He also said that the Reds just have to "concentrate on themselves" and keep their good work going.

He continued: "We will have more ups and downs throughout the season. We need to learn from the mistakes we made against Sunderland. I’d prefer we took the three points and reduced that gap by more but we need to keep moving on."

Lovren acknowledged that Liverpool have "really big games" in the near future and admitted that the Reds "like to play" against the "big teams" and also said that there is still a "lot to play for" throughout the rest of the campaign.

Lovren admits Sunderland game was really tough

Lovren replaced James Milner as the captain of the team for the second-half of the game against the Black Cats and continued his improved run of form under Klopp, although Liverpool conceded twice on the day.

The busy festive period has really tested the squad depth of every club in the Premier League and the endurance of the players involved and Lovren expressed that he was "feeling the strain" after a difficult period of back-to-back games for the club.

The game was the third Klopp's men had played in the week and they travelled to the Stadium of Light just 44 hours after defeating Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, so naturally the fatigue factor had to kick in.

Lovren admitted that the Sunderland game was physically "really tough" for him as well as his teammates and acknowledged the fact that the fatigue factor was "the same for Sunderland" as it was for the visitors. 

He explained that it is simply "not possible" to play two games at a high level in just two days time and highlighted the effort they had to put in against City to get the victory.

There have always been complaints about the gruelling fixture schedule that the clubs have to through during the festive period and Lovren shares the sentiment in saying that he "doesn't understand" why the matches are arranged like that.

He refused to cite the match schedule as an excuse for their poor performance and said that he "did not want to talk about it" and that the situation and the footballing culture "is what it is."