Adam Lallana has reflected on a week that has seen him make his Premier League and Champions League debut’s for Liverpool.
The £26million summer signing admits he has come a long way in a short space of time, having been playing in League One with Southampton five years ago today.
And the England international is delighted to be at a club of Liverpool’s stature, and hopes to improve his form and fitness as the weeks go by.
“Sometimes, but I’m here now and I’m focused on doing better and taking it to the next step,” Lallana said to Liverpoolfc.com, when asked if he often thinks about how far he has come in such a short while.
“I’m always trying to get better. I’m training day in, day out with world-class players, so it’s great for me to continue my learning process, keep working hard and trying to get even better.
“It’s just so exciting. Five years ago I was playing in League One with Southampton. We gradually progressed up the leagues, but I never thought I’d be competing in the Champions League.
“Just looking at the fixtures now…going to the Bernabeu, having Madrid here at Anfield, there’s going to be a cracking atmosphere. We feel confident we can get results.”
It has not been the ideal start to his Liverpool career for Lallana, who was ruled out of action for six weeks after picking up an injury on the pre-season tour of America.
The midfielder has featured in just over 120minutes of competitive action for the Reds so far, and is confident his performance level will improve once his fitness picks up.
“Fitness-wise I feel great, but I still feel I’m getting there sharpness-wise,” he said. “It feels great to be out there again because I’d not played a game for two or three months. It’s where I want to be – I want to be back playing, not sat on the treatment table.
“It’s a great feeling and I’m sure with the amount of games we’ve got coming up, the more minutes I get on the pitch, the better I’ll feel and the better the performances I’ll be putting in
“It’s going really well for me. It was difficult to start off with, picking up the injury meant I was out for six weeks and missed pre-season. That was disappointing because you always want to have an impact straight away and I was brought to the club to play football, but ultimately I couldn’t do that to start off with.
“It was disappointing and hard to miss the first couple of games of the season and watch on, but I’ve worked hard, got myself fit and I’m reaping the rewards now with being back playing.
“As a footballer there’s no better feeling.”
Lallana has only been a Red for a 10 week period, but has described his time so far as something of an ‘eye-opener.’
“It is different,” he said. “The expectation is different and just playing for such a fantastic club with more supporters worldwide, you get that feeling here. It’s an awesome feeling and it’s something I can’t wait to experience more of.
“Ever since I experienced the pre-season tour of America, straight away it was an eye-opener and you realise how many fans there are – not just locally here in Liverpool, but worldwide – turning up at the hotels and packing out the stadiums for the matches out there.
“It’s remarkable and something I’m honoured to be part of. I just can’t wait for the journey to progress and hopefully win trophies with the club.
“The target is to play as many games as possible, get as fit as possible and get back to my best, playing well and winning in a Liverpool shirt.
“We’ve got some big games coming up – big league matches, a big match against Basel…they’re coming thick and fast.
“That’s a difference I’ve noticed as well; when you’re in the Champions League, there’s just one big game after another. It’s great, it’s what you want as a footballer performing at the elite level.
“It’s what you want to be doing – you want to be playing with the best players because you’ll have a greater chance of winning games and trophies.
“We’ve got a few new faces, but we’ve got some great young talent here and I think it’s going to be exciting for the club in the future.”