Jordan Henderson says he thrives on the pressure of being an important first team player for both Liverpool and England.
The 24-year-old midfielder has improved tremendously over the past 12 months, and is now considered almost an automatic pick for both club and country.
But with that comes added responsibility, however it is a situation the former Sunderland man says he thrives on.
Speaking to the clubs official website, Henderson said: “There is always going to be pressure because Liverpool is a big club.
“Everybody expects us to do well, especially with how we did last season, so you have to deal with pressure when you’re a footballer. Everybody loves that pressure because it means you are doing something right and people are expecting you to do well.
“You have to put the pressure on yourself when you go out and perform and you have to give 100 per cent and just give your best every time.
“Personally I feel as though I’ve been through a lot over the last few years. I feel as though I have matured a lot and I can deal with it in my own way. I can do more things.
“The more pressure, the more I like it. I think that will be the same for quite a lot of the lads as well.”
Liverpool spent big money on strengthening their squad during the summer transfer window, but rather than be fearful of competition for places, Henderson insists the new arrivals have spurned him on to improve further.
Henderson said: “Everybody is equal in the squad. We have a lot of good players here so everybody, every time we go training, is working their absolute hardest and the best that they can to try and get in the first XI.
“Obviously everybody can’t get into the first XI so even if you are on the bench or just outside the squad you need to be really focused and ready to come on and make an impact, which I feel we’ve got here.
“I just have to keep working hard and keep doing what I’m doing.
“There are a lot of systems that we can play and every player is ready to fit into the system wherever they are playing.
“Everybody knows their role and their job really well and knows the systems and how they work. I think that’s really important.
“We’ve come a long way since last year; we have improved in every area, really.”
Henderson has certainly won over the Liverpool fans that originally doubted him following his arrival in the summer of 2011, and the Reds number 14 says the feeling of respect is mutual.
He said: “When I was growing up I was football mad. I can always relate to the fans, how passionate they are and how much they want the team to do well because the players feel the exact same way about the club that they’re playing for.
“You have an idea of how big the club is when you first come in but I think when you do come in, it’s bigger than what you first thought with its fan base.
“It’s worldwide, this is a huge club. When you’re a part of that, it is a really good feeling especially when everyone is doing well, so hopefully we can keep going in the right direction.
“Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world. So to be playing at Anfield every other week is an amazing feeling and I think for the new lads coming in, no matter where they’ve been before, it will be a really special moment for them when they first play there for the first time.”