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'Nobody can claim that title' - Van Dijk doesn't think he is the best defender

  /  autty

Virgil van Dijk is confident Liverpool can handle the pressure of the run-in - but has played down claims he is the best centre-back in the world.

The Reds moved back to the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.

And Van Dijk believes he and his Liverpool team-mates are gaining the experience to take on the relentless schedule as they chase a trophy double.

"I'm feeling positive," said the Reds man. "We are in a position right now where anything is still possible.

"You can't prepare yourself for these situations - you just need to experience it and deal with it, and we have players who can handle everything that we're going through now.

"It's the last month of the Premier League season now and we understand that we have to give even more than maybe we have done already and we'll see if that's enough.

"I'm not nervous, no. That's something that I definitely never am anymore. I do get angry at times at myself, and it's just a reaction because we want to win games and we want to give everything because we work so hard together.

"On the pitch it is more excitement than nerves. You want to go out there and show the best of yourself to your fans and your family, to perform and do well."

Van Dijk's outstanding form has made him favourite to be named PFA Player of the Year later this month.

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann and ex-players Chris Sutton and Paul Merson are among many to suggest Van Dijk is the world's best defender.

But the player, speaking to the official LFC matchday programme, said: "Nobody can really claim that title - it's just about opinions. We just need to enjoy it when players are doing well for their teams and I'm feeling good at the moment.

"Obviously there are a lot of expectations when you come to a club for a record fee but you can't change that.

"You just need to perform and show it on the pitch and gain respect through that. I've tried to do that since day one and it's been going all right.

"There are plenty of good central defenders around and I enjoy watching them.

"If I watch big games like the Champions League on TV then I'm definitely watching what different centre-backs are doing in certain situations.

"When people are talking about you in a positive way, that's always a good thing. But, basically, that's it."

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