Adam Lallana hopes to play a bigger role for Liverpool over the season and says he is confident of providing more big moments after scoring their late leveller at arch rivals Manchester United.
Sunday saw Jurgen Klopp’s men fail to win a Premier League match for the first time since March, but it was shaping up to be a whole lot worse thanks to Marcus Rashford’s contentious first-half effort at Old Trafford.
But Liverpool dug deep, pushed on and eked out an equaliser, with substitute Lallana ghosting in at the far post to seal a late 1-1 draw.
The 31-year-old’s celebrations were an outpouring of relief as much as elation after a frustrating, injury-impacted stint, which may have restricted his game time but not his self-belief and even more so amid reports suggesting he could be sold by the Reds next summer.
“I’m delighted,” Lallana said. “It’s obviously nice to contribute.
“Listen, obviously I feel like I’ve been fit for a good year now, especially since coming back from pre-season.
“But we’re European champions, we’ve got a top squad, so I’ve had to be patient for my chance but delighted to come on and make an impact like that.
“It’s obviously nice to be able to contribute to a top team like this. I feel that’s the first of big moments me for this season.”
Lallana made his fourth substitute league appearance of the campaign on Sunday, with his only start to date coming in last month’s Carabao Cup triumph at MK Dons.
But Lallana’s drive to make an impact at Anfield is undiminished, with the attacking midfielder confident that this can be a big season for him – especially with the club chasing trophy success on multiple fronts – and the player believes it is those cup competitions where he could lay down a marker to Klopp.
“Of course, yeah,” he said. “It’s a long old season.
“We’ve got the World Club Cup to come. We’ve got the Carabao Cup next week, the Champions League this week, the Premier League at the weekend.
“Just because I’ve not started any of the first nine games, I don’t think that means I am not going to play a big part in this team. Football’s a funny game.
“I think the last couple of years, we’ve got the Champions League final with a maximum of four really fit centre midfielders.
“It’s about just staying fit, staying strong and staying ready. I feel that’s where my focus will be.”
Lallana certainly showed his class when coming off the bench in the 71st minute at Old Trafford, where he found the net for the first time since scoring against Middlesbrough in May 2017.
The England international was taken aback by that statistic, but there was no such surprise about United being able to produce a performance that belied their recent struggles.
“I think that you guys (in the media) have built it up, haven’t you?” Lallana said. “I think it just shows that in this game, it kind of goes out the window.
“It’s obviously a tough game and we probably leave the happier team in the end. We could have won it, yeah. You know another five, 10 minutes. I thought we were controlling the game, we were dictating the game.
“The last 15 minutes, when I was on the pitch you could feel that, you could feel that we got that little bit of confidence, that little bit of arrogance that we needed.
“We were calmer on the ball and we didn’t really have that in the first half. But these games are funny. It’s not a bad point.”
Liverpool will take the point and move on knowing that they can play better, while the end of their 17-match Premier League winning streak does not appear to have halted their momentum.
“Listen, everyone probably expected us to win but we knew it was going to be tough here today,” Lallana added.
“We knew if we weren’t at our very best, we wouldn’t win. We weren’t at our best, we didn’t win but we grinded out a point.
“And if you can do that when you don’t play your best, I think you’ve got a good chance of being successful throughout the season and that’s what we’ve shown today.”