Virgil van Dijk has heaped praise on Nottingham Forest after Liverpool dumped the Reds out of the FA Cup yesterday. Diogo Jota’s goal secured a 1-0 win for Jurgen Klopp’s men and set them up a date with Manchester City in the semi-final.

Forest were outstanding on the night. Had Philip Zinckernagel taken his chance just moments before Jota’s opener, things might have been very different.

It wasn’t to be though and the Reds will have some fond memories of their FA Cup campaign. Arsenal, Leicester and Huddersfield were beaten to help Forest earn the clash with Liverpool.

The Reds can count themselves seriously unlucky not to get through. Steve Cooper was proud of the effort from his players and he will hope they can now finish the season on a high.

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

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Van Dijk was a surprise name on the team sheet last night. Jurgen Klopp utilised his £75 million defender despite being expected to leave him out.

He was pretty impressed with the City Ground crowd; although he conceded that the outcome of the game was probably right.

Van Dijk told the media after the game: “We had to stay focused, stay positive and stay patient.

“It was tough; nice atmosphere, but in the end, I think we deserved to go through.”

Forest are on the up and Van Dijk comments are refreshing

It’s nice to hear praise from a player who is such high profile. Van Dijk is arguably the world’s best defender and he knew he was in a game last night.

Forest now have to focus their attention on finishing the season as strongly as possible. They have 10 games remaining and ultimately a play-off place is within their grasp.

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final
(Photo; Andrew Powell; Liverpool FC; Getty Images)

The big occasions of the FA Cup should have Forest nicely geared up for a play-off tilt. Under Cooper, the club looks capable of going places.

A real challenge now is to ensure that the Reds are playing the likes of Liverpool on a regular basis next season.

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