Next week sees us face Reading in the FA Cup quarter-finals, which we earned after a great win against Tottenham Hotspur two weeks ago.
It was an excellent result for us as it took us a step closer to winning the competition against a team who were in hot form, and having played them not too long before that game we knew we were going to be up against it. We were at times, but we also put in a very good performance to get a good result.
I think everyone involved with the club is excited about the prospect of progressing further in the cup. That though will get addressed next week as the focus has switched to the league.
We returned to the Premier League with a defeat at West Bromwich Albion where we didn’t get going in the first half and gave them something to hold on to. We just got punished for our own lapses in concentration and that can happen, however it was a great response after half-time but the defeat wasn’t what we were looking for and didn’t foresee.
Some have said the second half display could be a turning point in our season as we showed some fighting spirit - not only then but also on Tuesday night at Sunderland which was a very similar game. It’s never nice to concede a goal so late on but that’s part of the game and we need to pick ourselves up again.
The bright point from those games is the form of Connor Wickham who has scored four goals in that time. It’s been a very welcome return to scoring for Connor; he’s looking very potent around the box and that’s what you need from your strikers, and he’d be the first to admit that. He’s such a big threat for us and throughout this season it’s been a joy for us boys to play behind him.
Much has been made of the 11 game run we’re currently on since we last won in the Premier League. It’s never nice to go on a run like this, but you’re only one good result away from rectifying it. We’ve treated every game in those 11 like that and we’re hoping that today can be the catalyst to reignite us for the final push.
We’re going to have to put in maximum effort against Liverpool, however we’ve had some good results against them at Selhurst and at Anfield recently but every game is different. They’ve got a manager who’s coming here for the first time so it’ll be a game everyone is up for and hopefully we can continue our recent good form against them.
Personally though I don’t pay much attention to previous results because players and managers change as well as tactics and formations, and it also depends on what time of the season that you face some teams too. I just prefer to see it as another challenge, but it does help knowing you’ve beaten them in the past, and hopefully that can be the outcome again.