Adnan Januzaj insists that the only way for Sunderland to bounce back from their Burnley humiliation is to “surprise” Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s title chasing Reds visit the Stadium of Light for a Bank Holiday Monday battle with a depleted and demoralised Black Cats (kick-off 3pm).
We will not give Liverpool an easy game – we know what is required.
Sunderland start the new year where they left the last one, stuck in the Premier League’s bottom three.
Thrashed by relegation rivals Burnley 4-1 at Turf Moor on Saturday, the visit of Jurgen Klopp’s free-scoring second-top Liverpool is hardly what the Wearsiders needed next.
But Januzaj insists the squad will be going all out to turn things around.royk
“Obviously everyone is down after a bad defeat and a bad performance,” said the 21-year-old attacker.
“But this is football, you can lose today and win tomorrow, anything can happen.
“We now have to try to look at the games we played well in before and make it difficult for Liverpool.
“We know that we can still win the game if we play to our best in front of our own fans.
“In football, anything can happen, you have seen that [at Burnley].
“We will not give Liverpool an easy game – we know what is required.
“We will be playing at home, we have great fans so we will be looking to play for them and to surprise Liverpool.”
Januzaj though admitted that Sunderland cannot afford any sort of repeat of the display at Burnley.
While there were mitigating factors – injuries to Lamine Kone and Victor Anichebe – the on-loan Manchester United winger says the performance was not good enough.
“It was not a great afternoon,” he said.
“We obviously went there to win, but we made a few defensive mistakes. That’s what cost us.
“What we do know is that we can’t make the mistakes we have against Liverpool and the likes of the bigger sides or we could be five or six down before half-time.
“But we have to try to bounce back.
“To do that we know we all have to work and fight together.
“Victor (Anichebe) has done a good job – he helps us a lot up front, but it will be a big loss if he is injured, but we don’t know how bad yet.”
Januzaj was involved in one of the few bright spots at Turf Moor, his weaving run setting up Jermain Defoe’s consolation goal, when Sunderland were four goals behind.
“You always have to keep trying and that’s what I was doing to help get the goal for Jermain,” he said.
“But we lost the game and that is what matters.
The Belgian left Manchester United to spend the season on loan at the Stadium of Light and says he didn’t come to Wearside to go down.
“Of course, I didn’t come here to get relegated,” he said.
“I came here to play games and to try the best I can to help the team.
“That’s my job and I will continue to do it.”