The 26-year-old, currently with England preparing for their Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Slovenia, has struggled to replicate the form which saw the Reds pay Southampton in the region of £25million for his services in the summer.
He was hampered by a knee injury in pre-season which delayed his introduction into the side until mid-September and – while he has shown occasional flashes of what he is capable of – he admits he has come up short so far.
“I always knew it was going to be difficult settling in, especially with the injury,” he told Liverpool‘s official magazine.
“I was so desperate to do well, maybe trying a bit too hard to impress, not doing things that I’d normally do, thinking about things maybe a bit too much.
“You can’t always expect to be at your best straight away. When you’ve been away for seven or eight weeks the pitch feels a bit different when you step back on it for the first time.
“It’s a case of getting your head down, working hard and doing the things that have made you successful before to get back to a level where you can affect matches.
“Gradually, the more games I’ve played and the more minutes I’ve accumulated, my form has improved and I’m getting closer to the levels I was at last season for Southampton.
“There’s still an improvement to be made but I’m getting there.”