Rickie Lambert admits he struggled to adapt to the pressures of being a Liverpool player having initially signed for his hometown club in the summer.
Lambert fired his first goal for the club in the 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at the weekend, and looks likely to start tonight’s crucial Champions League clash with Ludogorets.
And the 32-year-old admits he has almost re-discovered the confidence which initially deserted him upon arrival at Anfield.
‘It would be silly for me to say I didn’t lose faith in my ability,’ said Lambert. ‘I did question myself in some stages because I know the size of the club. It has taken me a while mentally to get into the right mind frame to be a Liverpool player, I’m not going to hide from that.
‘When I came here I probably let myself think I wasn’t going to start every game which I shouldn’t have done. Whoever was in the squad, I should have been thinking I want to be the first-choice striker whether I was up against the best strikers in the world or not.
‘I think the whole thing about this being my club that I’ve supported all my life has worked against me, in that it has put more pressure on me and I struggled at first to handle that. By that I mean I put too much pressure on my own shoulders.
‘It’s been hard to take and the goal (on Sunday) was just a chance to let it all go. It was brilliant.
‘Obviously I’ve been desperate to play but I’ve not regretted coming here for a second. I feel I’m in a better place now and my confidence is back.’
Lambert admits Liverpool’s poor start to the season has been difficult to take, but has backed his boyhood club to progress to the last 16 of the Champions League.
‘It’s really horrible to see Liverpool in this position,’ he added. ‘We have waited so long to get in the Champions League and we’ve got a chance, as bad as the league position is now, to turn it around. We believe we can do it.’