Joe Gomez has suggested that Liverpool's ability to win games without being at their best could be a ‘defining factor’ this season as the club prepares to mount another Premier League title challenge.
A difficult pre-season has seen the Reds so far fail to play at their best in early weeks of 2019/20, but they still ruthlessly hammered Norwich in their Premier League opener last weekend and beat Chelsea to the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night.
For Gomez, who is looking to regain his place in the side following injury troubles, being able to keep getting results in challenging circumstances is crucial.
“I think a defining factor is even on days that aren't our best, we can still get a result and I think that is what probably got us so close to the Premier League title last season,” the 22-year-old England international said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"I still don't think we've been at our best so far this season. We had good spells in the Community Shield (against Manchester City) and against Norwich, but there's a lot more we can improve on.
"You can say you're going to compete, but actually winning and getting it over the line is a characteristic of a big team, and getting results is something that sets you apart.
"I think we are getting there and it's obviously part of experience. We have a lot of that in our team, but also us young players, again are involved in these types of games and hopefully we can use that to continue progressing.”
Defensive frailty has been a surprising concern for Liverpool this season. That has been made worse by the injury absence of goalkeeper Alisson, while the Reds gave up a lot of chances against both Norwich and Chelsea and could have been more harshly punished.
Jurgen Klopp's side will resume their Premier League campaign on Saturday with a lengthy round trip to the south coast to face Southampton. The Reds have won all of their last four meetings with the Saints, scoring 11 times and conceding just once.