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Liverpool defender Johnson: We've been awful

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has said that the side's current form has been ''awful'' although he believes the whole situation at Anfield has been blown out of proportion.

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A £17 million summer signing from Portsmouth, Johnson says he has been shocked by Liverpool's performances this term, but has called on his team-mates to stick together in the midst of a run of form that has seen the Reds win only one of their last nine games in all competitions.

"The record sounds awful and it is awful for a club like Liverpool. But things like this happen in football. You stick together and keep fighting," said Johnson. "We have seen in the league that everyone can beat everyone; if someone had told you at the start of the season that we'd win one in nine, you'd have laughed your head off. We will just look to get as many points as we can as quickly as possible then have a look at the end of the season. When it's a club like Liverpool out of form, it can get blown out of proportion."

Johnson also backed under-fire Reds boss Rafa Benitez to turn things round and get their season back on track.

"It's good to see influential people like Kenny Dalglish backing Rafa and the team because it proves that everyone is together," added Johnson. "Rafa's done a fantastic job here and will continue to do so. A couple of bad results does not make him a bad manager or us a bad squad. To say that his job is on the line is ridiculous."

Meanwhile, Reds midfielder Albert Riera believes Liverpool's problems this season are mental as they fail to meet expectations.

"We need everybody not just on the pitch but off it, too, helping each other to be stronger because now our problem could be mental, because we - and I don't like saying this - are untidy," said Riera. "I don't like to use this word but it's true we are not used to being in this position. Against Birmingham you could see we were trying to do everything.

"We were playing wide, between the lines, always going forward, defending with two centre-backs only, full-backs going forward, and we were trying to do all we could to win the game, but the other team scored with one free-kick and one shot from a long way out.

"It's really unlucky because we had a lot of opportunities to kill the game before as well. In this moment we are trying to play like always but you can see it's not working.

"We have plenty of possession, plenty of opportunities, and we are trying to do all you need for winning the game. It's true that we have to manage conceding goals from free-kicks but if you see the game, it's clear we should have won it. But this year, we are really unlucky. I don't like saying that either, because it's not only bad luck in football, but it's true we are trying to change this position and it's not working.

"We have to be calm, we have two weeks without games and we have to be stronger after."

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