On October 4th, 2015, Liverpool striker Danny Ings gave the Reds their best moment of the still young season in the 41st minute of the Merseyside Derby when he headed home a cross to put the visitors in front. That brief moment of jubilation would last about 4 minutes, as Everton striker Romelu Lukaku leveled the score just before the half. It was a high water mark for both Ings and the soon-to-be-terminated Brendan Rodgers in what was otherwise a drab beginning to the 2015-16 campaign.
Despite the team's struggles, Ings was reaching new career heights, including his first national team call-up. Like the goal which would be his final for the club that season, that too was short lived. Within two weeks the striker who seemed destined for a spot in Klopp's gegenpressing squad, and an outside shot at England's 2016 Euro squad, was out for the season with an ACL rupture.
Such news would be devastating to any player, but Ings has kept up a positive attitude, at least when talking to the media. This positivity was once again on display in his interview with Goal.com.
"There was a real buzz as everyone was looking forward to going back to Melwood and working under the new manager, so it was gutting to have a setback so quickly," Ings said. "I couldn't change the fact that I did my ACL, but I could control how I reacted to it. That's what I focused on, becoming stronger mentally and physically, but I also used the time to learn."
Although he could not participate in practices, Ings tried to learn as much as he could about Klopp's system of counter-pressing from the sidelines.
"I paid attention to the counter-pressing, which suits my game so much, and how and when to use it. I saw how much work happens off the ball, the compact defending so you don't allow the opposition to break, and the movement required from the strikers. Every game I watched was as a supporter, encouraging the lads, but I also took everything I could from them."
Ings could reasonably be expected to take it easy as he builds up his match fitness, but that doesn't seem to fit his personality. Instead, he says that he's going to go hard this preseason to get back to where he can help the team.
"I want to give everything I've got, I want to impress, I want to do whatever I can to help the team. I want to win trophies and I want to be part of a successful club. I know that in order for that to happen, us players have to make it happen. I know pre-season is about fitness and not not going all out, but I don't know how to relax when it comes to football."
It remains to be seen whether Ings can find his way back into the squad after such a devastating injury and long time off. However, he seems to have the right attitude in order to make himself part of the discussion as the preseason progresses into the actual season.