Liverpool will maintain focus on themselves and not the teams around them in the Premier League standings when they return to action next month, Diogo Jota has outlined.
The Portugal forward struck the only goal of the game to move the Reds up to sixth in the table with a hard-earned 1-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night.
Jürgen Klopp’s side do not return to the field for just shy of three weeks due to the scheduling of FA Cup fixtures and the international break, meaning Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Sunday April 4 is their next assignment.
After consecutive victories and clean sheets against RB Leipzig and Wolves, Jota is unsure whether such a break has come at a good time for Liverpool, but the 24-year-old detailed the importance of picking up where they’ve left off.
The No.20 told Liverpoolfc.com: “I think [the break] is good and it’s not because we’ve had two wins and two clean sheets, it could have meant we had a good run of form now.
“We’ll never know, but we have a break, so it is what it is and we need to come back as we left it here.
“We must stick [to] thinking about us. There are a lot of games still to play, I think nine, so if we win all those games I’m pretty sure we can at least gain a spot in the Champions League, so let’s keep doing our job.”
Jota’s strike at his former home – a clinical left-foot finish in first-half stoppage time – was his 10th in 21 appearances for Liverpool since he traded Molineux for Anfield last September.
His celebrations were somewhat muted out of respect for his former employers, having spent three years as a Wolves player.
“Although there were no fans here and I couldn’t show some form of respect, I think it’s a thing I must do – and I try to do, obviously,” he explained. “In the end the victory was the most important.
“We had two [chances] with Sadio before that but we know against these kind of teams they are really well organised but they were unbalanced at that moment and a quick triangulation gave me the opportunity on the left. Fortunately for us, I took it and we could go on and win the game.
“The game, obviously, was special for me for a lot of reasons and even more special I could score and give us the victory, which was really, really important for us.”
The contest was subject to a 15-minute delay towards its conclusion after Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio sustained a head injury and received on-field treatment before being substituted.
Jota added: “I just try to understand if he is alright. I guess so and hopefully it’s not too serious.
“We are together in the national team as well, so I know him and that makes it even more hard to take. Let’s pray everything will be alright in the end.”