So far during pre-season, Danny Ings has been one of Liverpool’s more impressive performers. His movement, positioning, link-up play, and hard work has all stood out. His finishing, though, was letting him down. Late on against Adelaide, that changed.
Ings made a dart down the channel, waited for the goalkeeper to commit, and cooly slotted home. Hopefully, it will be the goal his confidence needed. If it is, and if he does now begin to score freely, it could be difficult for manager Brendan Rodgers to leave him out in a few weeks against Stoke City.
"I think it will be good for his confidence," said Rodgers of his new striker’s first goal for the club. "He’s come in and he has worked very hard. He knows it’s always a work in progress, coming into a club of this stature, that it will take time. He came into the game and he really threatened in behind."
The imminent arrival of Christian Benteke could complicate matters for Ings, but so far in pre-season he has been the standout amongst Liverpool strikers, and with Daniel Sturridge expected out until the autumn he will get his chances to impress no matter what in the coming months.
He could even force Rodgers to consider a two-striker system—something the manager may have to fall back on anyhow in a few months should Benteke impress and Sturridge find something approaching fitness. If he can now build on a trio of strong outings on tour capped by a goal, it hardly seems impossible.
"It was an excellent run by Clyne and he has given him a dead weight pass," added the manager. "Then he has a decision, does he take it early or does he have the confidence to go around the ‘keeper and slot it? He did very well. When you get goals in pre-season it can give you real confidence so I’m delighted."
Ings and the rest of the tour squad will face a Malaysia XI on Friday before heading back to England, while Benteke is expected to officially complete his move in the next 24 hours and to then join Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in training at Melwood on Wednesday.