Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott admitted he was his own worst critic and would not be happy until he was providing regular goals and assists for the team.
The 20-year-old was one of the better players – particularly in the first half – of the 5-1 Carabao Cup win at home to West Ham which booked a two-legged semi-final against Fulham.
But despite having a couple of shots and taking up good positions in between the lines, he was not one of the four goalscorers on the night as that honour went to Curtis Jones (two), Dominik Szoboszlai, Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 20, 2023
Elliott said only a week ago he did not want to earn a reputation as a super-sub after just nine starts in 23 appearances this season but after what he felt was a less-than productive evening against the woeful Hammers, he vowed to improve.
“I’m disappointed with myself. I feel I should have scored a few goals but I am just happy the team won,” he said after helping the club secure a record 19th League Cup semi-final.
“It is all well and good doing what I did but at the end of the day my job is to score and create and I didn’t do it so it is something I need to reflect on going into the next game.
“I’m happy with myself but I’m annoyed with myself at the same time. But it’s not about who scores the goals, it is about making sure we get the job done and getting into the next round.”
On his harsh self-critique, Elliott added: “It’s just the way I’ve been brought up with my family, especially my dad who has always been critical of my performances and it is something I’ve brought along with me.
“It’s not for me to go home and beat myself up over it but something to reflect on in the next couple of days and make sure when I get these opportunities again, I take them. It is about making myself a better player.”
With a two-legged semi-final to come in January, the focus returns to the Premier League this weekend.
The visit or Arsenal on Saturday provides Jurgen Klopp’s side with the opportunity to be top of the table at Christmas.
— Carabao Cup (@Carabao_Cup) December 21, 2023
Despite his good showing, Elliott is likely to find himself on the bench again for that game with Salah set to return.
“You can’t be upset if you don’t start. You know if you do start, you need to put in a performance to keep you in the team,” he added.
“That’s football and the joys of this team. You look at the squad depth and see the lads who didn’t play, who were out but maybe will feature at the weekend. We have massive quality.
“We need to take it game by game and can’t be thinking ahead or getting too worked up about tonight’s performances. We need to make sure we are right at the weekend.”
It may be top versus second but Elliott insisted at this stage, it was unlikely to have much bearing on the title race.
20.12.23 – West Ham 23.12.23 – Arsenal
Anfield awaits twice this week pic.twitter.com/5q4orTfUs0
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 18, 2023
“It’s a long way to go, many games left to the end of the season,” he said.
“It’s the Premier League and you never know what’s going to happen and it could be a massive game.
“We are going in to win it and nothing else is good enough for us. We just need to make sure we get the three points.”