Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has made a return to the first-team fold after an extended lay-off.
The 30-year-old has endured a demoralising time due to injury in recent months, but returned last week for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Speaking to SoccerBible, Lallana said how he felt nervous to play in front of the Kop after all this time, but will use that nervousness to get back into his stride.
“I made my first appearance in a while the other day and I was so nervous before the game,” he said.
“When you’re playing regularly and you get a bit of rhythm it’s different, but I’d kind of forgotten about that feeling.
“It’s good to use that nervousness as a source of energy, and that was a good reminder to know that I still enjoy what I do.”
Before last Saturday, Lallana had not started a game for the Reds since January, and the English international admits it has been a hard journey to get back to full fitness.
“My last start was on New Year’s Day so it’s been a long and frustrating time, but you use that time to focus on different things in life like my family,” he continued.
“It is frustrating to not be able to do what you’re paid to do when you are injured, especially when you have so many set backs, but hopefully now I can stay fit.
“It’s great to be back, but it’s also going to be difficult. The quality within the Liverpool squad now means it’s always going to be hard to get game time.
“But it is a squad game and I just hope I can contribute in some way. It’s a great place to be at the moment, working under this manager.”
The former Southampton captain also adds that his time out has toughened his mentality and given him a taste of life after football.
“Whenever you’re out injured for a long period of time it tests your mentality, but I think it also prepares you for life after football because the career isn’t a long one,” he said.
“I’m 30 years old now and most people play until they’re 34/35, so being injured for that long does help you prepare for that day and makes you start to think about what you’ll do when you can no longer play.
“Being injured for a long time definitely toughens you up. The older you get you begin to have different views on life and being injured adds to that.
“When you’re injured there are times when you don’t even feel like watching games on TV at home. That’s not to say I didn’t miss playing, because all you want to do it get back on the pitch.”
Lallana has been on Merseyside for four years and has 143 appearances to his name, having made the move under previous manager Brendan Rodgers.
He says he feels at home up north and how his six-year-old son, Arthur Michael, has started to develop as Scouse accent.
But he admits that he is likely to return back to the south after his playing days are over.
“Liverpool Football Club has such a huge fanbase that it’s difficult to go anywhere without anyone noticing you,” he said.
“But the fans are always very supportive because they’re crazy about their football.
“I’ve lived up here for 4 or 5 years now and I’ve got two young boys at school up here and they’re starting to develop northern accents too which is funny.
“My eldest will come back from school and some of the stuff he says will sound proper Scouse which makes me laugh. My family down south notice it more when we go back down there!
“But we all love it up here, we’re really enjoying it. I think I'll probably move back down south when I finish playing though, as I do love living by the sea, but right now we’re all really happy.”
The Reds are competing on three fronts this year, as Liverpool boss Klopp looks to win his first piece of silverware in either the Premier League, Champions League or FA Cup.
And Lallana reflects on the previous two finals under Klopp, backing the Reds to go one step further and secure a trophy.
“I think we’ve got a brilliant chance of winning silverware,” he added.
“I’ve had a lot of nearly moments in my Liverpool career so far – I’ve lost in the Europa League Final and the Champions League Final – so I want to go that one step further.
“I definitely feel like we’ve got the quality in the dressing room in terms of players and management to do that.”