The robust centre-back, who only joined the club in the summer, has admitted he hopes for an improved display as they host their rivals on Sunday.
Having squandered a two-goal lead in their previous home encounter against Leicester City, they fought hard to win a point against Jürgen Klopp‘s Liverpool side last weekend, and managed to scrape through with a 2-1 win over strugglers Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup.
van Dijk hoping for collective improvement
Having enjoyed a six-match unbeaten run, van Dijk is keen not to rest on his laurels though. The 24-year-old Dutchman has shone so far for the Saints since his summer switch from Scottish champions Celtic, and told the club’s website the following:
“We want to do much better than we did [in the last game], control the game [for] 90 minutes and win.”
Eager to win, but also keep clean sheets
He also outlined his desire to help keep clean sheets too, as opposed to winning but “still conceding” goals.
Saying that there is still “a lot” to improve upon, he admits he’s aware of this and wants to help get the maximum out of both himself as well as the team – so they work hard everyday and it helps them to win and “progress as a team” too.
On the fixture itself, he stated the fact that it’s an “important” game to get all three points, so they can progress in the League table especially with the run of fixtures they have in quick succession.
In their next six fixtures, Ronald Koeman‘s men have the following:
Sunderland (away), 7 November
Stoke (home), 21 November
Manchester City (away), 28 November
Liverpool (home), 2 December – Capital One Cup quarter-final
Aston Villa (home), 5 December
Crystal Palace (away), 12 December