Dejan Lovren has revealed how a chat with Jürgen Klopp in pre-season assured him of his opportunities in the Liverpool starting line-up in 2019-20.
The defender has started five of the Reds’ last seven games in all competitions, replacing the injured Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Dijk.
Indeed, Lovren delivered perhaps his finest display of the campaign to date in helping the team to a 3-1 victory over Manchester City last time out; however, he insists he is still aiming to produce even more on the pitch.
He told Liverpoolfc.com of his summer conversation with Klopp: “During pre-season we had a good talk and one of the key words was ‘patience’.
“I am a player who wants to play and who wants to win with the team. I didn’t have so many minutes last year, so when pre-season started, we had a good talk. I’ve taken my chance and at the moment I am here [in the team].”
Lovren continued: “I am quite happy, especially when you look at the results for the club – for me this is the most important thing, just to win games. Then the second thing is, how have you played?
“I am quite satisfied, but as I’ve said, always I can improve more – and I want more. It is good to be back on the pitch, to have some minutes again and to come into this shape and form again, like I was in previous seasons before.”
Lovren and his teammates return to action this weekend, with a trip to Crystal Palace next on the agenda for Liverpool following the international break.
It’s the first of 12 fixtures the Reds will contest across four different competitions before the conclusion of the calendar year.
Lovren, therefore, knows they will be required to utilise the depth of their squad in the coming weeks.
“It is enjoyable to watch maybe, but quite hard to play!” he said, of the forthcoming fixture list. “But we are used to it. We know this time of year is quite interesting with a lot of games and a lot of points to win.
“It is quite important for us if we can stay healthy as much as possible. It is really important to have all of the squad players available at any moment.
"As we know, we are in four competitions [in December], there are so many games. We need everyone; everyone knows that, the manager knows that and it’s good to have everyone here.”