Johnson: We're heading right way
Glen Johnson has insisted Liverpool will quickly transform draws into wins providing they continue to 'fight to the death' this season.
The Reds rallied to hold European champions Chelsea in Sunday's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge, arguably their best result away from home under Brendan Rodgers. The 1-1 draw was Liverpool's sixth league game without defeat, although it was also their sixth stalemate from 11 matches, leaving them a whopping 15 points behind leaders Manchester United in 13th place.
They are also eight points adrift of fourth spot, made all the more galling by the fact that England's final Champions League qualifying place in currently occupied by city rivals Everton. Three of Liverpool's next four league games are against Wigan, Swansea and Southampton, the kind of opponents they cannot afford to drop points against if they are to haul themselves up the table. Rodgers admitted on Sunday his side were
"a long way off in the league" but full-back Johnson had no doubt they were heading in the right direction.
"Of course we want to be winning games," said the 28-year-old England star, who returned from a two-week injury lay-off to start.
"Everyone can see we are starting to improve, and if we keep playing well, I'm sure the results will come our way."
Sunday's match highlighted once again just how reliant Liverpool have become on Luis Suarez, who nodded in his 11th goal already this season. The Reds failed to muster a single shot on target before the Uruguay star equalised and he almost snatched all three points when Petr Cech came rushing off his line to thwart him.
"Luis is a great player and he doing a fantastic job for us," he said.
"He's scoring goals for fun at the moment, and the longer he does that, the happier we will be."
Prior to Suarez's intervention, Liverpool were heading for defeat against opponents who could easily have added to John Terry's opening goal. Rodgers' 3-5-2 formation backfired and he was forced to abandon the experiment in the second half, reverting to a 4-2-3-1. The move paid off and might even have yielded Liverpool's third successive league win at Stamford Bridge, had Susuo and Suarez taken their chances. Johnson said: "If we had been offered a point before the game we probably would have taken it.
"Playing away at Stamford Bridge, it was always going to be difficult. Chelsea are very strong at home and we were expecting a tough game.
"We didn't start well, they got the goal and, usually, when Chelsea go in front here, they win.
"A lot of teams would have rolled over and ended up getting destroyed by four or five.
"But we have a great spirit in the dressing room and a lot of heart.
"We always fight to the death. We did that and got our reward.
"They had a tough game in Europe in the week and I think that showed in the last 15 minutes as Chelsea tired a little bit.
"We were strong, and in the closing stages, we really drove at them.
"We could have got all three points in the end but, overall, I think we've got to be happy with the draw."
Liverpool were today sweating on the fitness of Jonjo Shelvey for Saturday's visit of Wigan after the midfielder missed the Chelsea game with a thigh injury and was forced to pull out of the England squad for Wednesday's friendly with Sweden. Jose Reina failed to recover from a hamstring problem to start in goal, while Martin Skrtel was laid low by a virus.
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