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Lovren Determined to Seize Starting Opportunity

Dejan Lovren has been given two sustained spells to prove his worth. Thanks to injury, he’s about to get a third as Liverpool embark on a frantic two months of football.

Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

In football, if you put your head down and work hard on the training pitch, you tend to get your chances. Whether through injury or the slumping form of the starter ahead of you, if you're a fringe first teamer, waiting often pays off.

After again being installed as starter this season by former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers only to fail to impress for the second season in a row, Dejan Lovren has been doing the waiting part for the past few months. He's determined to get things right on the third try.

"Mama had a really good couple of games and a good start to the season," said Lovren, who will get the chance to start after the French centre half picked up a serious knee injury against Crystal Palace. "We played in Rubin Kazan together and were feeling really good.

"But you never know in football. Injuries can happen today or tomorrow. So you need to be prepared. I was working hard all the time so I'm ready and looking forward to playing. Now my thing is to be here as long as possible and to win something with the club."

Lovren repeatedly failed to impress under Rodgers despite being a favourite of the former manager, but the hope will be that with new manager Jürgen Klopp focusing on solidity first and valuing having a screening player ahead of the defence, he can improve.

There have been flashes of the talent that got Liverpool to spend £20M on him two summers ago, but there have also been far too many mistakes born of what at times seems a woeful ability to read the game. Now he will get a frantic two months of starts to prove he belongs.

"Every three days there will be a game, so we need to be clever in our preparations," said Lovren. "We know we won't have as much training during the week and hopefully not so many injuries also. It's tough—the squad is not so big because we have many injured players.

"We need to be smart, we need to know how to rest and play smartly. We need to keep the ball. We know it will be tough, especially in December."

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