Having turned 23 this year, Danny Ings is now finally too old for England's U21 team, and, having not yet caught the eye of England manager Roy Hodgson, remains at Melwood for the duration of the international break. Ings, known for his work rate and high-effort style of play, is looking to do what he does best and use the coming week to impress in training, with the aim to win a place in the starting XI for the upcoming trip to Old Trafford.
The former Burnley man made his Liverpool debut last weekend, coming on as a 61st-minute substitute in a soul-draining 0-3 defeat to West Ham, and was pleased with the reception he was given by the Kop, disappointed though he was with the result.
"On a personal level it was great to make my first appearance for the club but at the same time it was a game to forget about
"To be fair to the fans they gave me a great ovation even though we were 2-0 down with 10 men, so that was really pleasing.
"I come in every day and work hard. There’s a lot of quality players here who have been brought in for big money, as everyone is aware of.
"I’m working hard every day to improve so that when I do get my chances I can take them with both hands and enjoy the moment."
Coming in on a yet-to-be-decided tribunal fee from relegated Burnley, Ings has perhaps been summer signing with the lowest expectations attached to him, largely flying under the radar of many fans. On the other end of that spectrum, we find Dejan Lovren, who regressed to his disappointing mean in last week's game, after a promising start to the season. The £20m Croatian center-half has never been one to go unnoticed, on or off the pitch, and continued that trend when he got careless and was unceremoniously mugged by Manuel Lanzini in the lead-up to West Ham's second goal.
Ings reveals a squad united in supporting the defender after his latest gaffe, and is sympathetic to the difference between strikers and defenders when it comes to making mistakes.
"It’s always hard for defenders. For example, if myself as a striker miss a sitter, it gets forgotten about, but as a defender you get punished a little bit more from the press and people like that.
"We [as a team] put our arm around everyone who makes a mistake because everyone is human at the end of the day.
"Dejan is a fantastic player and a great asset to the football club. He’s a great man off the pitch as well so we’ve always got our arm around players who mistakes, but it was a team performance at the end of the day, it wasn’t just Dejan.""
While questions might be asked about the mental strength and fantasticness of Lovren, Danny Ings continues to say and do all the right things. If he does manage to work his way into the team for next week's grudge match, one hopes he'll find some inspiration in the name of his birthplace and take some shots that make a difference.
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