Liverpool defender Georginio Wijnaldum has warned his Liverpool teammates to keep their focus as the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Porto only represents half of the job that they need to do.
Wijnaldum told liverpoolfc.com that treating the game on Wednesday as only the first half is 'the most important thing' for Liverpool to keep in mind.
“The game will not be decided in one leg, it’s over two legs," Wijnaldum said. "In the first leg you must make sure you have a good result for the second leg. That’s what we have to do because you know you can’t win it in one leg. You can see with other games and other clubs that strange things can happen.
“Last season, PSG against Barcelona - everybody already thought that Barcelona was out [after the first leg] but they still changed it. So I think the most important thing is to have a good result for the next game.”
It is also important for the 27-year-old midfielder that his side prepare for both ties in exactly the same way, without taking the venues into consideration.
“You can look at two sides of it. On one side, you can think ‘Okay, first it’s the away game and I think that’ll be more difficult and we can finish it at Anfield’, but on the other side you can also say ‘OK, if we start at Anfield we can have a good start and then we can finish it in Portugal’,” he explained.
“I don’t think it matters where you’re playing first, you must get a result.”
The Dutchman further stressed his view even further, insisting Liverpool will not make big changes and will 'do what we've done all season'. However, he did conceded that '[scoring away] counts more than when you score at home'.
Wijnaldum reflected on Liverpool's tough group, and says they expect another challenge from Porto in the last 16.
“I think Porto’s also going to be difficult. They’ve reached the next stage of this tournament so we have to be aware of how good they can be. Everyone who’s reached this stage I think is a good team.
“They’ll take confidence from [the fact that] they didn’t lose a game [in their domestic league season]. I think it’s a good group, a good team. I don’t know a lot of them but we’re going to analyse them and I think as a team we’re going to know them better.
“Now we’re going to focus on Porto, analyse them and we can see what are their strengths and their weaknesses.”