Bullish – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ready to seize Liverpool chance

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain accepts he faces a fight for a regular first-team place at Liverpool but insists he is ready to seize his chance.

The £35million deadline-day signing from Arsenal scored his first goal for his new club in the 7-0 Champions League rout of Maribor – the Reds’ biggest away win in European football.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been restricted to just one start, a disappointing individual and team display in the Carabao Cup exit at Leicester, since his move north having been a regular for Arsene Wenger’s side this season.

But there has been a notable upturn in his performances in the last couple of matches coming off the bench, against Manchester United at the weekend and then in Maribor where he was handed his first goal on a plate by Daniel Sturridge late on in the demolition of the Slovenian champions.

Jurgen Klopp has also spoken of the progress the 24-year-old has made recently, having spent the last six weeks adjusting to his new surroundings and the demands his manager is putting on him.

“It’s a competitive team that I’ve come into,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told BT Sport. “Everyone’s fighting for their place and I’m just ready for when I get the opportunity.

“I need to keep developing and learning a new style of play here and get used to that and then whenever I get my opportunities try to do as well as I can.”

Liverpool’s win in Maribor finally kick-started their Champions League campaign after two disappointing draws at home to Sevilla and away to Spartak Moscow and now lead Group E on goal difference from the Russians.

It also ended a run of one win in their last eight matches and provided a much-needed confidence boost heading into Sunday’s encounter with Tottenham at Wembley.

“We’re in an important part of the season where we want to get off to a good start and we’ve got a few results that haven’t gone our way,” added Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“Every week it feels like we’ve got a lot of goals in us and it’s just not clicking at the right moment.

“I think we create a lot of opportunities and I hear people saying the stats are always Liverpool have 20 shots a game.

“So if we keep doing those things that’s the important thing, that we keep creating chances and keep trying and hopefully it will come off for us.”

Klopp was delighted to finally get the full reward for their efforts having regularly stated that little needed correcting in terms of their attacking play which a stroke of luck would not alter.

He was more focused on ensuring the defensive side – and not necessarily the much-criticised back four and goalkeeper – and noticed an improvement in that in Maribor with their pressure on the opposition when not in possession creating several turnovers which led to goals or scoring opportunities.

“The performance was very active,” said the German. “Good – or even better. From the first second it was exactly what we wanted to do.

“We wanted to show the best counter-pressing in the last few weeks – I really thought that protecting our offensive movements were really good but we could have done better in counter-pressing.

“Last night was really good. A few of the goals came from counter-pressing situations.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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