Emre Can says Liverpool must "make the next step" against Hull after Chelsea draw

Emre Can says Liverpool must "make the next step" against Hull after Chelsea draw

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can believes he and his teammates must ensure they don't squander renewed momentum when they take on Hull City this weekend just days after ending a three-game losing streak with a merited draw against Chelsea.

Charlie Malam

Emre Can believes Liverpool must build upon the fresh momentum of their draw with Premier League title favourites Chelsea as they prepare to face Hull City this weekend.

The Reds endured a run of three successive Anfield defeats last month, crashing out of the EFL Cup and FA Cup while having their title hopes hugely dented.

But they bounced back with a morale-boosting 1-1 draw against league leaders Chelsea on Tuesday night and Can believes they must harness the confidence gained from that to go on another good run.

They will hope to immediately build on that point when they travel to the KCOM Stadium to take on the Tigers on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea performance a 'very good sign', says Can

The German midfielder said after the draw with Chelsea, in which Liverpool could have won the game and arguably deserved to, that it was "a good game for all of us."

He declared that the performance of Jürgen Klopp's team showed they are "still a strong side" and declared that they "have to keep it up" after what was "a very tough period" for everyone at the club.

He said that "the fans, the team [and] the manager" all struggled throughout their three-game losing streak, but added: "Now, we are positive for the future. I think it was a very good sign, the Chelsea game. [Now] We have to make the next step and win the next game against Hull."

So poor was Liverpool's start to the new year that they won only one of nine games in all competitions, a narrow replay victory over League Two outfit Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup.

Can acknowledges that their disastrous spell was perplexing given how well they finished 2016, but said they must now focus on ending the season well with 15 Premier League games remaining.

He admitted to the club's official website that "nobody knows" why their form was so poor in January, insisting that "football is like that" in that teams "sometimes have good times" and "sometimes have bad times."

The 23-year-old vowed that they "all stick together in good and bad times" and that he and his teammates "will come back for sure."

He set their target now as to "win the game on Saturday" and "win the other games as well", insisting that 15 games in "three or four months" is "not too much" and that "it would be the best to get 45 points from 15 games."

Reds can still break down defensive sides, insists Germany international

Liverpool were deservedly beaten all three times in their poor run of form which ended over 12 months unbeaten at Anfield in disappointing fashion.

Swansea City, Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers all excelled with an approach that focused on defending deep, keeping numbers behind the ball and looking to counter-attack and exploit the gaps left behind Liverpool's midfielders and full-backs.

But Can says that they have showed they can break through stubborn defences earlier in the season, in games such as the 5-1 defeat of Hull at home in September.

He said: "I think we saw recently a lot of teams like that but it was the same at the beginning of the season and [back] then we won every game and nobody spoke about it."

Reds' No.21 Can believes that "everybody is speaking about it" now that Liverpool have "lost a few games" but declared they remain "still the same team" and they "know" they can "score against these teams" and "will have a lot of chances."

Liverpool midfielder: We must focus on ourselves rather than improved Hull

Yet despite a barren spell, Klopp's charges are still only a point off second in the league and remain in a good position for the remainder of the campaign as they target a coveted top-four spot and the reward of Champions League football next season.

Hull have drastically different targets as they seek to avoid an immediate return to the Championship, but though Marco Silva's side remain in the relegation zone they have produced a number of much-improved performances under the Portuguese boss.

Silva took over from Mike Phelan in early January and has since overseen a number of well-drilled displays, including a resilient 0-0 draw away to Manchester United in mid-week.

Can noted the effect a new manager can have, insisting that when "everything is new" then it "gives every team a lift."

"Hull City did good in the last few weeks and they played very good in the last game against United," he added, but still said that Liverpool must "have to look at ourselves" and "try to play our football to try and win the game."