Andrew Robertson has warned Liverpool teammates that they can’t afford to make any more mistakes if they want to live up to their minimum expectations of Champions League qualification.
The Reds endured a disappointing season as Jurgen Klopp’s efforts fell through with a string of serious injuries to key players.
Last season, Liverpool won the EFL Cup and FA Cup, reached the Champions League final and finished just one point behind Premier League winners Manchester City.
However, they failed to defend any of the cup crowns this season, having been knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 and faced an uphill battle for a domestic top-four finish.
Sixth-placed Liverpool are seven points behind Tottenham and although the Reds have two games against Spurs, Newcastle United also have an advantage that is just one point behind the North Londoners .
The disappointing nature of Liverpool’s campaign has not escaped the attention of Robertson, who thinks they have the last life if they want to beat Spurs and Newcastle – now they have to play back-to-back against City, Chelsea and Arsenal .
“The motives are exactly the same,” he told reporters ahead of Saturday’s trip to the City. “We want football in the Champions League, so the motivation is exactly the same as if we were going for trophies.
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“Obviously this is a big week; we’re playing against three big teams and it’s going to be a busy week, but that’s what you look forward to when you come to this club. These are big games that you want to participate in.
“We don’t want to be in that position and… we really don’t have time to waste, we don’t have any mistakes left if we want to get into the top four.”
He added: “(Expectations) have to be at the highest level when you play at this club – you have no option not to, the people at the club demand it. I think we can do it, but this season we just did not have enough stability.
“Over the past five or six years, consistency is the only word that will stand next to our name, because we have always shown ourselves, and even when we were not at our best, we still managed to achieve results. We didn’t do it this season and we have to fix it.”
Despite the problems this season, Robertson remains adamant that Liverpool belongs in the Champions League.
But he admits the Reds can’t take qualifying for granted.
“Starting April without being in the Champions League, FA Cup or League Cup, and then not in the title race, we are very disappointed – this is a position that we do not want to be in.
“We are out of every competition, but we still believe that we are a team that can compete in every competition.
“To fix that, we have to play these tournaments again next season and the only way to do that is to finish in the top four.
“So we have 12 games to fix this and we’re determined to put our all into the next 12 games.”