Stewart Downing has revealed how a frank discussion with Brendan Rodgers about his future has proved the catalyst for his most consistent run of form in a Liverpool jersey.
The England winger was informed by the manager he could leave Anfield during the January transfer window earlier this season as he sat on the periphery of the first team.
However, rather than be dispirited, Downing used the chat as motivation to prove he had what it takes to succeed with the Reds resulting in an impressive run of performances that have ensured he's started each of the last 10 games.
Indeed, Rodgers admitted in the immediate aftermath of Saturday's 5-0 win over Norwich City that he felt the 28-year-old had become one of Liverpool's most consistent performers in recent weeks.
It's a view shared by the man himself.
"I'd probably say so," Downing replied, when asked by Liverpoolfc.com if he was currently producing the best football of his Reds career so far.
"The first season was patchy, I was in and out, but this year since I came back into the side it's been consistently quite good. As I said, it's probably because the team is playing quite well that it's all come together.
"A good run of games has been good for me. I think I've proven in my career that if I play regularly, I tend to give good and consistent performances.
"It was disappointing because I was in and out, in and out and it was becoming a bit frustrating at times, but the best thing is playing in a winning team and playing with good players helps. There's consistency in the whole team, which is helping my game as well.
"My aim every game is to make the manager not leave me out. The only way to do that is to perform well. I've basically had nothing to lose in games and I think that's helped me over the last few weeks and long may it continue."
Lifting the lid on his conversation with the manager in which he was told he could find a new club, Downing explained how he appreciates the open line of communication he enjoys with Rodgers.
He revealed: "It was very open. I wasn't in the team or playing and he said to me maybe I could look elsewhere because I need to play at my age.
"I didn't totally agree, but I understood where he was coming from. Obviously he needs players who are going to play and not be sat about, but I thought in the back of my mind if I get a chance I can prove myself to him. Luckily enough, I did in the next week or so after that.
"[Our conversations] have been very open - if I'm doing well he will say so and if not, I'll be pulled and told what I need to do. It's the same for all the players. It's good for me and that's how I like it - to be told if it's right or wrong. At the moment it's all going well and he's pleased with me, so I have to keep it going.
"I said to him I'd love to stay and if I keep playing well, then hopefully it can continue into the seasons after. I've still got a few more years on my contract so I'd like to see it out if that can happen, and the only thing I can do is play well and he'll keep me in the team."
To date, Downing has notched up 27 appearances so far this season, scoring three goals including a first Barclays Premier League strike for Liverpool in last month's 4-0 win over Fulham.
He adopts a philosophical view when analysing his turnaround in fortunes.
"I wasn't playing and then I got into the team but was told I could leave - that just sums football up for you," said the winger.
"I was obviously disappointed. I could sense it as I wasn't in the team or playing. The manager didn't see me as part of his plans at the time, but I just got on with it and thought when he gave me a chance, I'd have to take it.
"It was because of injuries and loss of form of others players that I got a chance and my only focus in every game now is to make the manager keep me in the team."