Fabinho admits he 'didn't really enjoy' playing at back for Liverpool
Liverpool’s makeshift defender Fabinho admits he ‘didn’t really enjoy’ playing at the back while helping to ease club’s injury crisis as he reveals the Reds believe they CAN still make the top four ahead of Arsenal clash
- Fabinho has slotted into a makeshift Liverpool defence amid an injury crisis
- Absence of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip trashed title defence
- Brazilian midfielder admits he didn’t especially enjoy filling in at centre-half
- But Fabinho believes he has developed as a player as a result of the experience
- Reds travel to Arsenal on Saturday as they push for a top four league finish
Fabinho has admitted he ‘didn’t really enjoy’ being Liverpool’s makeshift centre-half but believes it has helped him grow as a player as Jurgen Klopp’s men chase a top four finish.
The Reds’ Premier League title defence never really got going this season as injuries to key centre-halves Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez held them back.
Brazilian midfielder Fabinho was one of those Jurgen Klopp tasked with slotting in at the back, and though Liverpool have suffered plenty of defeats, they do retain hopes of strong finish to the season.
Fabinho (left) had to adapt his game to slot in at centre back amid a Liverpool injury crisis
Injuries to key central defenders such as Virgil van Dijk (pictured) led to a makeshift back line
Jurgen Klopp’s side remain in the hunt for a top four finish despite several injury setbacks
They head to Arsenal on Saturday night aiming to close the current five-point gap between themselves in seventh and Chelsea in the fourth Champions League spot.
It marks the beginning of a pivotal week as they prepare to take on Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.
‘Playing as a centre-half, I learnt a lot,’ Fabinho told Sky Sports.
‘I learnt to enjoy playing this position because at first I didn’t really enjoy it!
‘But thanks to my team-mates I improved a lot and learnt some things about the position, about leadership as well because in this position you can see almost everything, so we had to try to organise the team as well.’
Fabinho (right) does believe his game has developed as a result of playing in defence
The Brazilian is pictured in training this week ahead of a crucial week in Liverpool’s season
Seventh placed Liverpool will aim to close the gap to the top four when they head to Arsenal
Premier League unless stated
Saturday Arsenal (A)
Tuesday Real Madrid (A)
Champions League quarter-final, first leg
April 10 Aston Villa (H)
April 14 Real Madrid (A)
Champions League quarter-final, second leg
April 19 Leeds United (A)
April 24 Newcastle United (H)
Fabinho did admit, however, that converting to a permanent centre-back role later in his career was a ‘possibility’.
Klopp’s side are about to enter a season-defining couple of weeks. Their trip to the Emirates is followed by the first leg of their quarter-final with Real and a home league game against Aston Villa.
They then face Real again on April 14 before a visit to Leeds United five days later. And the importance of the coming set of games isn’t lost on Fabinho.
‘Now the last part of the season starts, the most decisive part,’ he said. ‘So we have to give everything and play each game like a final.
‘It will be hard to be in the top four and go as far as possible in the Champions League but we have to be ready for this, we have to give everything and to play our best football if we want to celebrate something at the end of the season.
‘Yes of course we believe [we can finish in the top four]. We have to be the first to believe it if we want to be there.
‘And I think we can win this tie against Real Madrid – but we have to bring our best shape and best mood. We are Liverpool so we always try to win every competition.’
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