Cody Gakpo credited Jurgen Klopp’s team’s spirit and camaraderie for Liverpool’s recent improvement in performance, saying: “When it’s difficult, a real team shows up.”
The first four league games of 2023 saw Liverpool go winless, earning Klopp the harshest criticism of his time as manager at Anfield thus far. However, back-to-back victories have lifted the spirits in Merseyside.
Last week, Gakpo scored his first goal for Liverpool in a 2-0 victory over Everton, and on Saturday, he added another goal in a 2-0 triumph over Newcastle, another team competing for a spot in the top four.
Before Real Madrid and Liverpool’s first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday, Gakpo made the case that Liverpool’s mini-revival may have occurred at the ideal time.
“I think it’s difficult to put your finger on something that has really changed, but everyone knows when you’re not winning the games, it’s difficult,” Gakpo said.
“I think the games we won, we played better than in the games before, and the result is maybe the outcome of the greater intensity we had in those games.”
C ⚽ D Y pic.twitter.com/vsZGz07Ttx— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 19, 2023
“As a newcomer, I sense that the group is really good, we come together and stay together in difficult moments. It was difficult to try to stay positive and keep helping each other, it has helped us go on to better things.
“When it’s difficult, a real team shows up. This is one of those times. We really stuck together and stayed positive and tried to help each other in the difficult moments.
“Just in time, we started winning games again, and now we have a big opportunity to show we are back on track.”
Despite spending the majority of his time with former club PSV stationed on the left flank, Gakpo has largely been used as a central striker since his arrival at Liverpool.
However, the Netherlands international feels comfortable playing either role, adding: “I played the last three years on the left side, but at the World Cup under Louis van Gaal I already played in the centre.
“I already tried to adapt to that, and when I came here the coach said it was possible for me to play on the left or in the centre, so I’ll try to adapt quickly to that position and improve.”