Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana admits he tried too hard to impress in his attempts to settle in at Anfield.
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.
“Playing for a new club the size of Liverpool and having Champions League football – you need to be tough mentally.
“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.”