Following Monday's 1-1 draw against West Ham, Virgil van Dijk has suggested that Liverpool's recent wave of defensive injuries are hampering their bid for the Premier League title.
Liverpool were without Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold for the clash at the London Stadium, which meant that Jurgen Klopp was forced to tinker with his back line once again. He brought in Joel Matip and James Milner, with the later filling in at right-back - a position which is still relatively unfamiliar to the veteran midfielder.
The Reds were uncharacteristically shaky at the back, just as they were against Leicester last week, and Van Dijk admitted that an unsettled back four is beginning to cause problems.
"I think all players who've come in have enough quality to do the job - but when you have a back four that doesn't change that's maybe a little bit easier." he said, via the Daily Mail.
The Dutch defender added that the result was far from ideal for Liverpool, but he was also keen to point out that the Reds still have a three point lead at the top of the table.
It ends all square at the London Stadium.— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 4, 2019
"They [West Ham] were decent, they defended very well. But today was disappointing. We could have been a lot better I think but it is what it is. The referee was a bit easy at times but we need to do better as well.
"We take it game by game, we're still top of the league. We're still in the race...so we need to be our best for the rest of the season."
Both Lovren and Alexander-Arnold are not expected to be out for extended periods, but Liverpool were struck a blow when it was recently announced that Gomez had undergone surgery for the fractured leg he sustained in December.