Andrew Robertson interview: Liverpool defender on Anfield atmosphere, Manchester City and title run-in

Liverpool return to Anfield this weekend after a goalless draw with Everton saw them slip behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race, and defender Andrew Robertson has called on the club’s supporters to get right behind their team and produce a “special atmosphere” for the match against Burnley.

One month ago, Bournemouth arrived at Anfield sensing an upset. Draws against Leicester City and West Ham had seen Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League table cut to just three points. City were now well and truly back in the picture. And, suddenly, Liverpool seemed a city crippled with anxiety.

But Anfield delivered. Knowing this was a match that could prove crucial in their club’s title challenge, Liverpool’s supporters arrived early and turned up the noise, roaring their team on from the first minute to the last. “You could see that the crowd were going to play a major part in the game,” a slightly dazed Steve Cook admitted immediately after the match. “I haven’t quite heard an atmosphere like it.”

Since that win, Liverpool have thrashed Watford 5-0 at home, while being held to costly draws on the road against first Manchester United and then Everton. City are back on top of the Premier League table, for the first time since December, with Liverpool staring down the barrel of another must-win game at Anfield. And Robertson has appealed for another “special atmosphere” as the Reds attempt to regain top spot.

The Scottish defender, a fan favourite for his full-blooded commitment and lung-busting runs forward, believes the Anfield atmosphere helped his Liverpool team-mates to bounce back to beat Bournemouth, has appeared on The Anfield Wrap podcast to call on the club’s supporters to remain firmly behind their team as they chase their first league title since 1990.

“I think that after the Bournemouth game all the lads knew the [atmosphere] really had made a big difference,” Robertson said in the podcast, available to download here. “Even when we were warming up before, there was a lot more fans in the ground than usual. When we play against Manchester United or Everton or in the Champions League, of course it’s easier to create a special atmosphere. But it’s probably the games at Saturday 3pm that we need it the most.

“We all pulled together in that game. We only have 9 games left and half of them are at home. So if we can create an atmosphere that will make even a small difference to the lads, then it will stand us in good stead. And it will be up to us to respond to that which I think we did brilliantly against Bournemouth and isn’t always the case, for one reason or another.

“But we respond well to it. And to be fair the Watford game was very good as well. We have five home games left and let’s hope it gives us an advantage.”

In the space of just a few days, Liverpool’s entire mentality has had to change. For so long the leaders, glancing over their shoulders as Manchester City attempted to bridge the gap, they are now the chasers, hoping that the defending champions drop points sooner rather than later.

It will not be easy. City are on a superb run of form, winning five of their last six league matches, scoring 13 goals and conceding just one. Liverpool’s supporters are understandably nervous. But Robertson has said that Liverpool remain in an exceptionally strong position and are ready to grasp their opportunity should City finally slip up.

Anfield was in fine voice against Bournemouth (Liverpool FC via Getty)

“We’re up against a world-class team here,” he said. “They’ve got no worse. We’ve just got better, we’ve closed the gap. With us being a point behind them changes it. This time last season they were probably already thinking about their holidays. Now they know they’re in for a fight.

“But we need to match that and keep going. And if we end up finishing second then we won’t be the first team to come close and succeed.

“That’s not the pressure on us. The pressure is our own pressure. We know we’re a good team and that hopefully we’ll be in this position again, because we’re young enough. But you never know. And we want to take this opportunity and grasp us.”

Robertson also wants Liverpool’s supporters to enjoy the last few weeks of the season if they can. Starved of league success for so long, Liverpool arguably have a marginally easier run-in and their players still believe they can get their hands on the Premier League title.

Andrew Robertson was interviewed on The Anfield Wrap podcast (Liverpool FC via Getty)

“To be fair at Anfield it is very positive and very rarely negative,” “Robertson added. And for the Bournemouth game even when we were out to warm-up it felt like a party atmosphere and like everybody was there to enjoy themselves being at the ground. That’s what you want.

“I’ve been a fan. I had a Celtic season ticket for 16 years and when I went to games I wanted to enjoy it. I didn’t want to be tense every time the other team crossed the halfway line. You want to enjoy going and watching your team.

“Enjoy the chase, enjoy us going for the Premier League. We’ve not had a Premier League in 29 years. And if we fail at the end of the season, then as long as we have given 100 per cent and we know that we have left absolutely everything out on that park, then of course we will have regrets but we can say we have given it our all.”

To listen to the full exclusive interview with Andrew Robertson on The Anfield Wrap, click here.

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