Luis Diaz says Liverpool’s start to the season is not “problematic” but admits they must do better after collecting just two points from their opening three Premier League matches.
Jurgen Klopp’s side followed up draws at Fulham and at home to Crystal Palace with a 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on Monday – a result that saw Erik ten Hag earn his first points as Man Utd’s manager at the third time of asking.
Those results leave Liverpool 16th in the table and, while the season is still in its infancy, Diaz acknowledges that things must improve.
“It’s been a bit of a difficult start,” said the Colombia forward. “It’s not quite the outset we wanted for the season. We’re a club that goes out to win three points from every game we play.
“I wouldn’t say it’s problematic for the players or for the manager but certainly we all know we need to do better.”
Liverpool went into the game at Man Utd as the strong favourites, given their opponents had begun the season with defeats against Brighton and Brentford, while Klopp’s side won 5-0 in the same fixture last season.
But goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford meant Liverpool were forced to taste defeat for the first time in five Premier League visits to Old Trafford and Diaz said: “We knew in advance it was going to be a difficult game.
“We were fully aware of what kind of rivalry exists between the clubs and we knew we had a big task ahead of us. It didn’t go our way on the day.
“We know now we have to just do our job and train hard, rest hard and look forward to the next game, when we can hopefully accumulate some points and get a proper start to the season.”
‘Liverpool fans are the greatest’
While Diaz admitted he is not satisfied with Liverpool’s current situation, he allowed himself to be move positive about his own performances.
The 25-year-old hit the ground running after arriving at Anfield from Porto for £49m in January and has continued to impress in the early stages of this campaign, not least with a magnificent individual effort that salvaged a point for 10-man Liverpool against Palace.
“Personally, I feel very good,” said Diaz. “I’ve had a good start. My own performances I’m happy with, I feel great and I’ve had a very successful arrival.
“I’m very happy to contribute my grain of sand to the entirety of the team. We all need to be contributing in that way.
“I’m very happy to be here at this great club, with some outstanding players, and it’s a very professional set-up that I’ve experienced.
“The key thing now is to improve and get some decent experiences behind us for the rest of the season.”
Diaz’s effort against Palace thrilled the Anfield crowd when it looked as though their side were on their way towards a shock home defeat, and he says he is grateful for their appreciation.
“I’d like to give thanks to God that I scored that goal,” Diaz said. “It helped us to get that big point, a very important point for us, so I was thrilled to score that.
“I think it’s important I make myself available to receive these opportunities to go on and score.
“The fans, I’ve felt from the very outset there’s this strong passion, respect and love for me. I felt it straight away. I can feel they are the greatest fans out there.”
Diaz: Playing with Salah is stupendous
Diaz appears to have nailed down the starting position on the left wing in Klopp’s 4-3-3 formation following Sadio Mane’s exit for Bayern Munich but a familiar face remains on the opposite flank.
Mohamed Salah – who signed a new three-year contract during the summer – continues to be a key player for Liverpool and scored in the games against Fulham and Man Utd.
While both players have pivotal roles in Klopp’s forward line, Diaz admitted he is still coming to terms with playing in the same team as Salah.
“It’s stupendous for me, being able to share my position in the team with Mo,” said Diaz. “I’ve seen him over many years on television at so many tournaments and I’d like to say I’m proud of myself, having reached this position where I can share with him these experiences, to wear the same shirt and be a team-mate of his. It’s really something special.
“Every day, playing alongside players like him, it helps you to improve, not just in a footballing sense as a player but also as a person.
“He’s a great guy and there’s a very special connection between him and me, and between all of us, in fact.”