Virgil van Dijk dismisses critics after Ajax win

Jude Summerfield
Van Dijk has been criticised this season
Van Dijk has been criticised this season / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says the squad pay little attention to criticism of their form following the 2-1 win over Ajax on Tuesday.

The Reds got their first European points of the season thanks to Joel Matip's late winner on a night where it seemed a second strike would evade them after Mohamed Salah opened the scoring.

Liverpool were smashed 4-1 by Napoli last week and came in for hefty criticism and Van Dijk himself has been singled out for some average defending following years at the top of his game.

While he admitted the result last week was poor, Van Dijk still took aim at critiquing pundits and said his side will continue attempting to improve.

When asked how Liverpool's players have coped with the recent speculation, the Dutchman said: "Not listening to the outside world, that's the most important thing.

"It's funny sometimes because a lot of ex-football players know exactly what we are going through.

"They say a lot of things to try and get to us. We know last week was unacceptable and we try to make it right.

"This is a step in the right direction, don't get carried away because there are so many games but it's time to focus on the international break then crack on when we return."

Rio Ferdinand responds to Van Dijk

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is one such pundit who has dished out some criticism to Liverpool in recent weeks.

However, he claimed last week's defeat to Napoli invited criticism for the manner in which they lost.

Responding to Van Dijk, the former England international said: "If I thought it was wrong or it was personal, then I'd get the hump.

"But if it was deserved then I'd hold my hands up. Listen, the Naples performance, I think every player will hold their hands up and say 'look, it was a bad day at the office'.

"We reiterated on the night that nobody was saying they're a bad team. It was a bad performance."