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Liverpool midfielder Emre Can: It has been hard to avoid the critics

Steve Nicol defends his decision not to pick Liverpool against Spurs, but says their performance was no surprise.

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has said it was difficult to avoid criticism during his side's recent poor run of form.

A barren spell saw Jurgen Klopp's team manage only one win in 10 matches before recording a dominant 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

Can said Klopp had reminded his players to think positively after they were eliminated from both domestic cup competitions and fell out of the top four in January.

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But he told Liverpool's official matchday programme: "It's not easy to ignore what people are saying because you naturally tend to read the newspapers and speak to friends and a lot of people in the city.

"Of course they want to talk about football. It's not easy to ignore, but we have to try and do that because it's the best way to focus on the games ahead.

"The most important thing is that we have to stick together. When we have good performances we stick together, and we must do the same when we have bad performances.

"He [Klopp] is a very positive guy and has been encouraging us and trying to help us have a positive frame of mind so that everybody believes and thinks positively again."

He said the players have "had a lot of meetings" and are aware that they "cannot forget the good times we have had this season."

He added: "We know how quickly things can turn around. We have to stay together, be one team and look forward.

"Of course, after we had so many good times in the first half of the season, nobody thought that we would have a spell [like January].

"I think we can learn a lot from the past month and come back stronger."

Emre Can and Liverpool suffered a tough January.

The Germany international said Liverpool's focus was to ensure they finished in the top four and qualified for next season's Champions League.

Liverpool do not return to action until Feb. 27, with Klopp using the lengthy break to take his squad to La Manga in Spain for warm-weather training.

"It's different of course, because now we have more time to train," Can said. "I'm sure we will make the opportunity to spend that time working on different things to try and improve.

"But as a player, you'd always much rather be playing more games."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

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