Danny Ings senses his long wait for a Liverpool goal is about to end.
The striker last bagged for the Reds in the Merseyside derby of October 2015, having suffered successive serious knee injuries which ruined his first two seasons with the club.
Ings has patiently waited for his opportunity this term, building up match fitness – and sharpness in front of goal – with the U23s before becoming a regular on the first-team bench since early December.
He was added to Liverpool’s Champions League squad ahead of the last-16 tie with FC Porto next week, and now the latest objective to achieve is hitting the back of the net.
“The time I’ve had on the pitch has been as a sub so you’re trying to maximise that time and get as many chances as you can,” the 25-year-old told the Liverpool Echo.
“I can almost sense and feel it’s coming and the more minutes I get, the better I’m going to feel and I’m sure I’m going to get that goal again. Confidence isn’t an issue for me, the most pressure was getting back fit.
“I know there’s going to be chances in games and it’s down to me to start taking them, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
External speculation suggested Jürgen Klopp might consider sending Ings out on loan during the January transfer window.
But the manager put paid to those rumours on the eve of deadline day by declaring he would have to be ‘unconscious’ to allow such a move to happen.
His words were a fillip for the former Burnley forward, who can eye the remainder of the season as a chance to ensure his hard work in recovery is rewarded.
“I’ve been working so hard to get into the shape I’m in now and being back among the lads,” the Englishman added.
“Now I’m getting minutes on the pitch and being part of it, it’s a huge moment for me and I’m just looking forward to the future.”