MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool acknowledges the fans after the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool FC at the Etihad Stadium on January 3, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino believes it essential they return to winning ways by beating Brighton on Saturday in order to stay on top in the Premier League

After ending 2018 with a spectacular 5-1 win over Arsenal at Anfield and remaining unbeaten in their opening 20 league games, the new year has brought a drastic change in fortunes for Liverpool.

The Reds are winless in 2019 with title rivals Manchester City inflicting a first league loss on them last week before Wolves knocked them out of the FA Cup at the third round on Monday.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Amex Stadium, Firmino stressed the importance of Liverpool rediscovering their winning touch ASAP with City only four points behind the leaders.

“It’ll be a difficult game. Losing is obviously always bad; nobody likes to lose, and certainly not me,” Firmino told the club website.

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“But now we’ve got to bounce back. We’ve worked hard every day so we’re prepared for the weekend.

“It’ll be a big game, a difficult game and we’ll do our best to get the three points.

“That’s what the Premier League is all about – it’s intensely competitive. If the team at the top stutters, the second place will overtake them.

“We know we can’t go to sleep and lose silly points. We must maintain our focus until the end of the season.”

The Brighton and Liverpool game will begin at 16:00 (CET).