'I think we can play both' - Wijnaldum confident of Liverpool's double title bid

Goal.com

Georginio Wijnaldum says Liverpool are good enough to challenge domestically and in Europe after climbing off his sick bed to help the Reds maintain their challenge for the Premier League.

Wijnaldum was unable to join up with the rest of the Liverpool squad at their team hotel in the build-up to Saturday’s game with Bournemouth after suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting.

However, the Netherlands international recovered in time to take his place in the starting line-up and scored a fine second goal as Jurgen Klopp’s side eased to a 3-0 win.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

The victory lifted Liverpool back to the top of the Premier League, though Manchester City returned to the summit on goal difference following their 6-0 thrashing of Chelsea on Sunday.

Speaking after the game Wijnaldum, who was named man of the match, revealed just how close he was to missing out on the game at Anfield.

“Thursday night I had a tablet from the doctor for my knee. It was a tablet that could induce stomach pains,” said the 28-year-old.

“I took it and I had a pain and thought it was from the tablet. In the end, I was vomiting and everyone was a little bit scared.

“I didn’t train on Friday and I didn’t sleep at the hotel either because they thought I might infect other players.

“The manager called me and said ‘Do you think you can play?’ I said I was as positive as I can. In the morning I was still weak and had diarrhoea.

“The tablets helped a lot but even at half-time, I had to run off to get to the toilet. I was like ‘Oh no!’. I ran inside and I managed to control it!”

Georginio Wijnaldum Naby Keita Sadio Mane Liverpool 2019
Georginio Wijnaldum Naby Keita Sadio Mane Liverpool 2019

The win over the Cherries eased some of the nerves that had been gathering at Anfield after successive draws had allowed Manchester City to eat away at their five-point lead at the summit.

Wijnaldum acknowledges the frustration felt by those draws with Leicester and West Ham but also urged some perspective, with the club still well in contention for their first title since 1990.

“We had two draws in a row and that didn’t feel that good,” he added.

“But if we had been told that at the beginning [of the season] you will have this kind of points [65] everyone would have taken it.

“It could be better but we must appreciate where we stand.

“You can see the improvement. You could see at the beginning of the season we improved. We just have to keep it going.”

Liverpool return to European action later this month when they take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16.

It has been suggested that Klopp’s side may struggle to juggle their domestic and European commitments given their desperation to end the club’s 29-year wait for a league title.

However, Wijnaldum believes his side, beaten Champions League finalists in 2018, are good enough to compete on two fronts.

“We have to see how it is going to work. I think we can play both,” he said.

“You never know but a lot of times it goes well. Last season the Champions League went well and we dropped a lot of points in the league.

“But I don’t think it was because of the Champions League.”

What to Read Next