After watching on from the sidelines as Liverpool defeated former loan side Huddersfield Town on Saturday, Danny Ward has admitted his frustrations.
Ward spent the 2016/17 campaign with the Terriers, making 46 starts as David Wagner’s side sealed promotion from the Championship through the play-offs.
The 24-year-old was one of Wagner’s key players but has since returned to Merseyside to serve as Jurgen Klopp‘s third-choice goalkeeper.
Reflecting on his contrasting roles at Huddersfield and Liverpool, the Wales international told the Huddersfield Daily Examiner that it is “difficult to watch from the side.”
“You want to play as a footballer but these things happen and it’s part of the business you are in, especially as a goalkeeper,” he said.
“The situation is what it is. I obviously miss playing but it’s just a case of sink or swim.
“You either accept it and let things start to dwindle, or you back yourself, train as hard as you can and try to improve yourself to ultimately be in the team at the end of the week.
“It’s a mentality thing—it’s difficult to watch from the side but it’s football, and sometimes you just have to swallow it.”
It is certainly easy to sympathise with Ward, who has gone from playing week in, week out to clamouring for a rare start in cup competitions. He doesn’t even feature for the Reds’ Under-23s.
Until then, he can only continue to produce on the training field in the hope that Klopp will opt for him ahead of either Mignolet or Karius, with potential injuries providing a chance too.
Huddersfield were eager to sign Ward in the summer but were issued a not-for-sale response by the Reds.
But given Klopp is content with his other options between the sticks, retaining Mignolet for Saturday’s clash despite a miserable performance in the 4-1 loss to Tottenham, this move was questionable.
It could be that Ward pushes more aggressively for the exit if his chance doesn’t come before the end of the January transfer window.