BREAKING: Diogo Jota makes injury admission and speaks out on ‘big’ Darwin Nunez change at Liverpool
Diogo Jota is aiming to put his Liverpool injury problems behind him as he sends Darwin Nunez message
Diogo Jota is hopeful his injury troubles are behind him after his first Liverpool start since May coincided with a 2-1 win over Ajax on Tuesday night.
The Reds forward has been hampered by a hamstring problem in recent months after suffering a recurrence of the issue he initially picked up on international duty for Portugal during a pre-season training session in Thailand back in mid-July.
After emerging as a second-half substitute for the recent games with Everton and Napoli, Jota was named in the starting lineup on Tuesday evening as Jurgen Klopp’s side got back to winning ways with a victory over Ajax in the Champions League.
“Yes it was [frustrating] for me because I couldn’t be there helping and it is always a lot more complicated when we are on the sides just watching,” Jota said. “But it’s part of the past now. I was in today and helping a little bit and that was good. No [ill-effects], everything is good. I couldn’t get things right in pre-season but that’s part of the past.
“There is always room for improvement and I want to establish myself here as an important player and I can only do that if I am fit. These things happen in a football player’s life and I just need to carry on.
“I think we had a couple of chances and we were creating danger at pretty much every corner. So I think we deserved the victory mainly because it was our last opportunity because we don’t play now until after the break, so it was a job well done.
“It was our last opportunity before the break to do the right things and I think we did that today. We need to do whatever the calendar wants us to do and sometimes we have too many games like we often say so this time we have a break and we take it as it is.
“Of course there’s a lot of space for improvement, even in today’s game. This was the first step to get it right like we normally do and to get a result because obviously it was so important.
“I have to say we had a shaky beginning and things are not quite right, there are a lot of changes and of course changes to players who are starting. It is what it is and we just need to kick on from now. Obviously Jurgen has some strong ideas about everything that we do and it takes time so this is the way we play.”
With just three wins from their eight games across all competitions this season, it’s been a disappointing opening few weeks for Klopp’s side. Liverpool have taken just nine points from 18 on offer in the Premier League and now have three from six in Group A of the Champions League.
Jota accepts it’s not been an ideal start but believes their form will return when the side start getting the best out of summer Darwin Nunez, who joined from Benfica for an initial £64m after Sadio Mane completed a switch to Bayern Munich.
Jota added: “We had a shaky beginning to the season. There were a lot of enforced changes due to the injuries. But the way we played tonight is the way to move forward. It felt like justice was done with that late goal.
“Darwin didn’t play too many games yet with the sending off he got. In contrast Sadio played for this team for a long period and was used to everything. It’s quite a big change but if we keep playing like this then it will be easier for Darwin and for everyone.
“Football is always a challenge between us to play in the games, to face different challenges as well. That’s life and football and as players you need to respond to that and survive that challenge every day.”