Paul Ince names Liverpool FC star who needs to step up

The former Liverpool FC midfielder wants to see more leadership from Virgil van Dijk - as well as James Milner

Virgil van Dijk
Jamie Carragher and Virgil van Dijk (Photo: Jamie Carragher / Instagram)

Paul Ince has urged Virgil van Dijk to show his leadership skills to help Liverpool FC get their title challenge back on track.

The Reds have seen their lead at the top of the Premier League table evaporate over the past couple of weeks.

Liverpool FC were held to frustrating 1-1 draws with Leicester City and West Ham United to drop four points in less than a week.

Manchester City have bounced back from a 2-1 loss at Newcastle to beat Arsenal and Everton by two goals to hoist themselves to the top of the table.

The defending champions are only ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s side by virtue of their superior goal difference.

Liverpool FC have allowed sloppy mistakes to creep into their game, notably at the back.

The Reds have only conceded 15 times this season but seven of those goals have come in the last five Premier League games.

Former Liverpool FC midfielder Ince has called on Van Dijk to show his leadership skills to help Klopp’s men get through their current blip.

“This is where leaders are crucial – Virgil van Dijk and James Milner need to step up,” said Ince, speaking exclusively to Paddy Power.

“They need to reassure the team that there’s a long way to go yet, and steady the ship.

“There are plenty of Liverpool players who haven’t won anything yet, so it’s unsurprising that the pressure is mounting on them.

“And of course, Jurgen Klopp’s behaviour from now on is crucial, he needs to bring that confidence back to the players and make sure they don’t doubt themselves.

“Man City have got the experience of winning it before and that’s what Liverpool are up against. [Man City are top and that] puts a huge amount of weight on Liverpool v Bournemouth this week.

“That feels like a must-win game – alarm bells will start to ring should they fail to win that.

“Liverpool also need to be wary of Tottenham. At the minute, they’re playing their football knowing that the eyes are nearly all on the top two.”

Liverpool FC will return to Premier League action with a home clash against Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds have never won the Premier League title but have finished in second place on three occasions under Gerard Houllier, Rafael Benitez and Brendan Rodgers.

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