Georginio Wijnaldum has said Liverpool must focus on their own games rather than their rivals’ in the coming weeks.
The Reds moved six points clear at the top of the Premier League table during the week as Manchester City slipped to their second defeat in four days, while Liverpool beat Newcastle 4-0.
The Merseysiders have won their last eight league games in a row as they head into Saturday’s fixture against Arsenal, but Wijnaldum insists Jurgen Klopp’s men are concentrating solely on picking up three points, rather than the gap at the top of the table.
“When we played Wolves away [the Friday before Christmas] a lot of the players didn’t even know against who City or Tottenham were playing,” the 28-year-old told reporters.
“We were just focused on our own game and trying to get the most out of that one. That is why it goes so well.
“We are only focused on the things we can control. We can control our own performance. We are only busy with that.
“If you are maybe less focused than normal, then you have a manager in Jurgen who will tell you directly that there is no space for doing less or enjoying things too much. He says keep both feet on the ground,” he added.
Few Liverpool players have played more minutes than Wijnaldum this season, but even the Netherlands international was rotated over the busy festive period by Klopp.
After starting on the bench against Wolves, Wijnaldum was withdrawn against his former side Newcastle on Boxing Day, but the midfielder knows rotation is part of parcel of the modern game.
“I think everybody wants to play every game, but you play so many games and the way we play with a high intensity sometimes you need a rest,” he said.
“It is the manager’s decision. Sometimes it is a decision you don’t like but he knows what is best for the team. Up to now it goes quite well.
"People get a rest when they need one and the level stays the same. I think that is due to a mixture of things: the coaching, the players’ professionalism in the way we work together and the way we help each other out. We got the results we needed.
“I am happy if he chooses me because like I said we all want to play but it is not possible to play every game because of the way we play with lots of running, high intensity, then you have to use the squad, especially around this part of the season.”