Danny Ings says he is feeling a lot more confident about his form and fitness as he prepares to complete his comeback from the knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season.
The Liverpool striker suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in Jurgen Klopp’s first training session last October, ruling out the England international for the remainder of the campaign after a promising start to life at Anfield during which he scored two goals in six Premier League appearances.
But Ings was able to start pre-season training with the rest of the Reds squad and the 23-year-old feels in fine fettle having scored twice already in pre-season.
The Reds are currently in California, where they will face Chelsea and AC Milan in the International Champions Cup. Ings is hoping to use the tour to put himself in Klopp’s thinking for the Premier League opener against Arsenal on August 14.
In his tour diary for the Liverpool website, Ings wrote: “In the pre-season games so far this summer, I feel I’ve looked as sharp as I’ve ever looked in the last couple [of matches]. I am a lot more confident now and have taken a couple of whacks on my knee, which is also good for me.
“I feel like I am back to myself now enjoying my football. I feel I’ve put the dark days behind me now.
“There will be loads of hard work to do here while we’re on tour and when we’re getting on that plane back to Liverpool next month, I want to be in the best shape possible after it all.
“I feel with the heat out here, the amount of sessions and the work that will be on for us, there is every ingredient to help me do that. I won’t be happy with myself if I don’t come back home in the best shape I can be in.
“And I also want to be tactically more aware of what the manager wants from me because with the year out, I didn’t have as much time to work with him whereas other players have.
“So for me, this tour is all about learning as much as I can, getting as fit as I can and trying to prove myself every day.”
Ings became a popular figure among Liverpool supporters due to his work ethic and the former Burnley striker can’t wait to perform in front of them again.
“I am also looking forward to meeting our incredible supporters out here in America and playing against top-class opposition at some outstanding venues.
“I genuinely missed playing in front of [them] while I was out injured – and I’ve craved doing it again. I feel I made a strong connection with our supporters – I’d run through brick walls for them – so having a year without it really hurt.
“I’m looking forward playing in front of our fans again, showing them what I can do and trying to repay them for the support they’ve given me from the start.”