June 21, 2021

Adrian admits Van Dijk-less defence feels ‘strange’ but believes Liverpool can cope

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The Spanish goalkeeper is currently covering for Alisson between the sticks, with the Reds losing two key men to injury in quick succession

Adrian admits it feels “strange” to play behind a Liverpool back four that does not include Virgil van Dijk, but the Spanish goalkeeper is confident that the Reds can contend with untimely injury blows.

Jurgen Klopp has been forced to shuffle his pack over recent weeks after seeing key men ruled out.

First-choice keeper Alisson is closing in on a return to action, but he has been stuck on the sidelines since the end of September.

Van Dijk has joined him in the treatment room, with the commanding Dutch centre-half suffering knee ligament damage in an eventful Merseyside derby clash with Everton.

Liverpool were able to emerge victorious in their first outing without the Netherlands international defender at their disposal, with Ajax edged out 1-0 in the Champions League.

Adrian is among those taking plenty of positives from that contest, with the Premier League title holders proving that they can overcome adversity and remain competitive.

He told the club’s official website: “It’s a big win, a massive one – three points in the Champions League and a clean sheet.

“It was a little bit different, strange, we missed some good players.

“I think we deserved another result in the derby but I think we reacted really well and the team showed the strong mentality that we have, a winning mentality.

“As a goalkeeper, keeping a clean sheet is a massive thing and the last few games we conceded many goals, some cheap goals. It was good keeping a clean sheet and scoring one goal to get us three points.”

Fabinho was the man asked to provide cover for Van Dijk against Ajax, with the Brazilian earning plenty of plaudits for the performance he produced when dropping back from midfield.

It could be that he offers a long-term solution to Klopp, with Adrian confident that Liverpool can cope without the big-money additions that are being mooted for the January transfer window.

He added: “Fab played a few times there last season and the more games playing together, everyone is going to get more confident, for sure.

“We’ve known each other for a long time and it’s not just the centre-backs and the goalkeeper, it’s the whole team defending and it was a very good job from everyone.

“Obviously we know we are going to miss Virgil and it’s a big loss for us, but it’s how to react. We have many good players who can play in this position – Fabinho did great with Joe [Gomez].

“We have a great squad and we have shown at different times last season, when anyone is not playing, another one comes from the bench to do the same and even better. 

“We are going to miss Virg, for sure, but I thought we did good from the defending side.”