Harvey Elliott ready to push himself ‘to the max’ in Liverpool quadruple bid

By Sports Desk February 27, 2024

Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott accepts he will have to continue to push himself “to the max” as injuries threaten to derail the club’s bid for an unprecedented quadruple.

The 20-year-old played the full 120 minutes of Sunday’s Carabao Cup extra-time win over Chelsea just four days after playing the entirety of the 4-1 victory against Luton, in which he scored a 90th-minute goal and had to be hauled off the turf at the end of the game.

His previous four appearances had all been as a substitute and amounted to just 153 minutes, but with 12 first team players unavailable through injury, fringe and academy players are now finding they are having to play more significant roles.

That is likely to be the case against Sky Bet Championship high-fliers Southampton in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Anfield on Wednesday – the third of four games in 15 days.

“Digging in deep – it came off the back of 90 minutes in midweek – is what you live for. This is why you’re a footballer,” said Elliott, who collapsed to the ground in exhaustion as the rest of the team ran to celebrate Virgil van Dijk’s 118th-minute goal at Wembley.

“You need to push yourself to the max in order to get results and we did that.

“To come away with a victory is massive but we need to put it behind us, make sure we are recovered and focused on Wednesday.

“It will be another big test against Southampton as they are doing well this season and are going to cause us problems.

“I can’t wait for another game.”

Wednesday looks like a significant hurdle for Liverpool – top of the Premier League by a point and facing Sparta Prague in the Europa League – to overcome in their quest to win four trophies taking into account their injury situation and the emotional toil of the cup final just a few days ago.

Elliott insists it is up to the players to battle their way through if of they want to keep the bid on track.

“It’s going to be hard. It is just down to us. We need to put in the fight, desire and hunger and who knows at the end of the season,” he added.

Related items

  • Football rumours: Five clubs in the race to sign Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise Football rumours: Five clubs in the race to sign Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise
    What the papers say

    Five clubs are in the race to sign Crystal Palace forward Michael Olise, Football Insider reports, with Arsenal and Manchester United joining Manchester City, Juventus and Chelsea. The 22-year-old has scored seven goals in 14 games for Palace this season.

    The Sun says Barcelona have joined Arsenal in the fight for Newcastle striker Alexander Isak with the Spanish club hoping to strike a deal with the Magpies for a player reported to be valued at around £90million. The 24-year-old Sweden international has scored 17 goals in 24 Premier League games for Newcastle this season.

    Meanwhile, the credentials of Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will be assessed  by new technical director Jason Wilcox as the club decides on the Dutchman’s future, according to the Telegraph, while the same outlet says former Wolvers manager Julen Lopetegui is a contender to replace David Moyes at West Ham.

    Social media round-upPlayers to watch

    Viktor Gyokeres: The 25-year-old Sporting Lisbon striker is Arsenal’s top target as the Gunners prepare to make several signings this summer, Football Transfers reports.

    Wilfred Ndidi: Crystal Palace are interested in the Leicester midfielder who is available for a free transfer this summer, according to Talksport.

  • Mikel Arteta says Mauricio Pochettino was ‘like a father’ to him as young player Mikel Arteta says Mauricio Pochettino was ‘like a father’ to him as young player

    Mikel Arteta said Mauricio Pochettino was “like a father” to him in his early playing days ahead of their meeting in Arsenal’s clash against Chelsea in the Premier League.

    Arteta played alongside the Chelsea boss at Paris St Germain before their rise as coaches in Europe’s top divisions.

    The Arsenal manager talked up the influence Pochettino had on him as a player, admitting he was inspired by the Argentinian as a teenager.

    The pair will face off at the Emirates on Tuesday.

    When asked how influential Pochettino was for Arteta as a player, he said: “He’s one of the most.

    “I was 17 or 18 in Paris with no experience in professional football. He doesn’t like me saying it but to me he was like a father, he took me under his arm, he gave me incredible advice and protected me, he inspired me and I learned so much in our two years together.”

    Arteta’s top-of-the-table Gunners have come a long way since he took over in 2019.

    They sit one point ahead of Manchester City, who have a game in hand, and lead Liverpool on goal difference as they continue their bid for Premier League glory with five games remaining.

    Arteta sought the opinion of Pochettino before leaving Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s assistant to become manager of the north London side.

    “When I had to make a decision I asked him and explained the situation and he gave me some advice and he was needed,” Arteta added.

    “I admire what he’s done in his career and he’s someone I’ve looked to because he was impactful to me in the most important stage of my career. As a role model I can’t pick anyone better.

    “He doesn’t need to help me about tactics. The best influence he has had on me is the way he speaks about his life, his professionalism, his family and who he was as a figure in the dressing room and the passion and love he has for the game.

    “That for me is the most important things which I learnt from him.”

    A league title will be Arsenal’s first since 2003-04.

    Arteta, whose side were dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich last week, noted that there are further steps he wants his team to make in their development.

    He said: “We need to see how we can make another step or two forward because that’s what this team is demanding to keep moving forward in a ruthless way because we’re not satisfied.

    “You can see the team really wants it. We will try to be as fresh as possible but I think we can cope with that.”

  • Mauricio Pochettino says Enzo Fernandez will be ‘much better’ next season Mauricio Pochettino says Enzo Fernandez will be ‘much better’ next season

    Mauricio Pochettino believes it is unfair to compare the impact of Enzo Fernandez at Chelsea to that of Arsenal’s Declan Rice, as the teams prepare to face each other at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

    England international Rice joined Mikel Arteta’s side from West Ham last summer for £100million, less than the £107m it cost to take World Cup winner Fernandez from Benfica to Stamford Bridge in January 2023.

    The fee for the Argentinian was a British record at the time, though the club have since surpassed it in signing fellow midfielder Moises Caicedo from Brighton for £115m.

    Rice has won plaudits for his transformational effect on Arsenal’s midfield, helping to forge a sturdier, more cohesive side than the one that fell away in the final weeks of last season’s Premier League title race.

    By contrast, Chelsea’s league position has not markedly improved in the 15 months since Fernandez arrived in west London, and despite clear flashes of his obvious talent and range of passing, question marks have remained over whether the club got value for money.

    However, his countryman Pochettino called for perspective on the obstacles that his player has had to contend with since arriving in England.

    “Declan Rice was playing for West Ham, an English guy who knows the Premier League, knows the language,” said the 52-year-old.

    “For Enzo, after the World Cup to arrive here, in a team that was inconsistent, difficult to get positive results, always it was really difficult.

    “In summer he was involved in too many games and he arrived late in pre-season, hasn’t had a holiday in the last two years.

    “Too many negative things happened. (It was) difficult for him to adapt, his family. It’s not easy to adapt and perform so quick.”

    Fernandez was responsible for creating Chelsea’s best chance of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City, hitting an incisive, raking pass from deep that sent Nicolas Jackson through on goal, but the striker could not finish.

    He has scored three Premier League goals and made four assists since moving from Portugal in the immediate aftermath of Argentina’s 2022 World Cup triumph, but Pochettino insisted the best is yet to come from the 23-year-old.

    “For sure he is going to be much better next season, after the experience of the whole season in this squad and this team,” he said.

    “He’s more experienced, he gets better feelings. The whole season is good for him to learn. Even if he is a world champion, he needs to adapt to the Premier League and to this club. For me, there is no doubt that he is going to be much better.”

    Pochettino said there have been no discussions over the future of striker Romelu Lukaku, currently on a season-long loan at Roma, but appeared to hint that the door could be open for a return.

    The 30-year-old has scored 18 goals for the Serie A side this campaign after telling Chelsea last summer that he wanted to leave.

    “He’s a Chelsea player, so for sure we will pay attention,” said Pochettino. “It’s an option. But still we did not take any decision.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.