So much quality – Cody Gakpo talks up Liverpool’s depth in title run-in

Gakpo scored as a substitute for the fourth time this season in Thursday’s victory over Sheffield United.

Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo believes strength in depth is underpinning their title bid
Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo believes strength in depth is underpinning their title bid (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo believes their strength in depth is bolstering the club’s Premier League title bid.

The Netherlands international came off the bench for the 19th time in 44 appearances to score his 14th goal in Thursday’s victory over Sheffield United.

This season Jurgen Klopp’s substitutes have been involved in 24 Premier League goals (12 goals, 12 assists) which equals Manchester City’s record from 2011-12, with Gakpo combining with fellow substitute Andy Robertson for the third goal against the Blades.

It has also contributed to Liverpool winning 26 points from losing positions and Gakpo, the team’s third-highest scorer this season, attributes that to the attitude within the squad.

“That’s what this team is all about. We have so much quality, and the manager can only start 11,” he told the club’s website.

“Everybody is eager to perform well for himself, for the team and for the fans when they are coming on.

“At the beginning of the season everyone had the belief that, ‘OK, I’m not starting today but when I come on, you never know what is going to happen, and if I put all of my energy out there then beautiful things can happen’.”

With just eight league matches remaining the focus is getting sharper with every week but Gakpo said no-one was thinking ahead as that leads to scrambled thinking.

“Obviously we are aware of the situation but we just try to approach every game and stay calm,” he added.

“Obviously your mind can go all over the place if you are thinking about the end of the season, but we just have to take it game by game.

“We are doing it pretty well at the moment and we just need to stay calm and stay focused.”

The team return to Old Trafford on Sunday, where only three weeks ago they lost a pulsating FA Cup quarter-final 4-3 after Manchester United scored a winner in the final minute of extra time.

It was only the third domestic defeat of the campaign but losing to their arch-rivals, ending the hope of an unprecedented quadruple, was painful.

“Of course, we were very disappointed. Losing is never good. Especially the way we lost that day, it hurt for 24 hours after the game,” said Gakpo’s international captain Virgil van Dijk.

“We have to do better against them. They started the game well, had the crowd behind them and that gave them a push. Conceding the goals was disappointing.

“We controlled the game but kept them alive. They made use of it in the best way possible. That’s credit to them but we are going there on Sunday to turn it around and make sure we get the three points.

“We want to win every game and that’s the focus anyway at Liverpool. We know how much this match means and how big it is for the outside world but we are in a phase where we can’t drop points and lose points.

“It never matters what happened the game before results-wise. It is on its own. We have one goal: go there and try to win the game, we will give everything.”