Kuyt moves on from 'off-day'

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Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has written off Monday's Barclays Premier League horror show at Wigan as a one-off.

That 1-0 defeat, in which the Reds struggled to string two passes together, was followed up by another loss against Lille in the Europa League on Thursday - though that was not entirely unexpected given the French side's formidable home record and boss Rafa Benitez declared himself happy with the improvement in performance after the game.

Now Kuyt has called on his team-mates to make up for their showing at Wigan when they face Portsmouth on Monday, and said: "Before Wigan, the last 10 (Premier League) games we had seven clean sheets and many games we won. The only defeat we had suffered in the league was at Arsenal and it was getting better and better."

He added: "Monday was just an off-day for every one of us. We were all very disappointed, most of all with ourselves. We have got to change that."

What will have to change are Liverpool's fortunes on a Monday night, when they have a poor record, for Pompey's trip to Anfield.

It is the beginning of a hugely significant seven days in the Reds' season. After Portsmouth, the Barclays Premier League's bottom club whose troubles put Liverpool's stuttering campaign in perspective, they face a must-win Europa League second leg against Lille before travelling to Old Trafford on Sunday.

With fourth place in the league looking less achievable by the week, Europe may well provide Liverpool's only measure of success.

And Kuyt is confident they can overturn a 1-0 deficit at home to the French side, saying: "If you see the quality in this team, we should really beat them with more than one goal."

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Europa League
Premier League
Dirk Kuyt
Wigan Athletic

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