Virgil van Dijk has vowed to do “much better” as the Liverpool defender fights to arrest his alarming loss of form this season.
By his own high standards, Van Dijk has struggled in the first eight games of the new campaign and the Netherlands centre-back isn’t shying away from his woes.
Van Dijk was singled out for criticism from Liverpool team-mates James Milner after failing to close down Jadon Sancho before the Manchester United forward scored in the Reds’ 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
He was also guilty of several mistakes in Liverpool’s embarrassing 4-1 loss against Napoli in the Champions League.
But Van Dijk is determined to get back on track after helping Liverpool to a tense 2-1 win against Ajax on Tuesday.
“What we did last week (against Napoli) was unacceptable, all of us, and the days after that game we definitely had a reality check,” he said.
“I still think I need to improve and that’s fine. The only way to do it is to play the games, learn from the mistakes, don’t listen to the outside world too much, speak to the people close to you.
“I’ve said it many times, we are all human beings and we all want to do as well as we can and the same goes for me. I know for a fact I can do much better, but we all can do better.
“I feel very hurt if we concede goals and don’t keep clean sheets and I feel that responsibility, but that’s a good thing.
“I want to turn this season around not for myself, but for all of us associated with the club and we want to perform as good as we can.”
The win over Ajax came after Liverpool took the lead for only the second time this season.
Even then they still looked defensively fragile at times, but Van Dijk insisted there were encouraging signs.
“There are reasons for it why it is not going so well. I think the reasons have been highlighted, especially the game against Napoli,” he said.
“We were absolutely shocking that night, we know it, it hurts all of us, it hurts me.
“We spoke about it, we drew a line under it and we showed glimpses (against Ajax) of what we normally are. We are good if we perform as a team.”