Dejan Lovren has admitted to struggling for confidence following his recent issues at Liverpool, looking to “get that black cloud away from me.”
Lovren has endured a turbulent two weeks, beginning with the centre-back being hauled off after 31 minutes in the Reds’ 4-1 loss away to Tottenham in October.
He was subsequently withdrawn at the last minute ahead of the 3-0 win over Huddersfield, with his thigh injury keeping him out of the starting lineup for the past three games.
The 28-year-old also revealed death threats he had received on social media, while Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti reported an alleged break-in attempt at his home last Wednesday.
Lovren is now with the Croatia squad for their World Cup qualifying play-offs against Greece this month, and discussed his recent struggles with 24Sata.
“My condition? Let’s say there have been better days,” he explained.
“You simply cannot change what has happened in the past. I would just love to finally get that black cloud away from me, so things can get better.
“It’s not easy for me. Maybe it’s interesting for everyone else, but I guess it’ll be better soon.”
Lovren is arguably the most roundly criticised player in Jurgen Klopp‘s squad at Liverpool, with this translating to an unfavourable perception around the Premier League.
His performances have certainly been affected this season, with the ex-Southampton defender playing a key role in the Reds’ issues at the back.
But his problems both on and off the field should not be overlooked, as Lovren is clearly undergoing a difficult period, compounded by persistent injuries earlier this term.
Speaking to Sportske Novosti in September, he said: “I’m taking pills so I can play. I take five pills before every game.”
Klopp may be wise in taking Lovren out of the firing line, with Ragnar Klavan serving as an able deputy alongside Joel Matip, as his situation should be dealt with sensitively.
The international break may have come at an ideal time for Lovren, who can turn his focus to securing a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Croatia host Greece first on Thursday night (7.45pm GMT), before taking to Piraeus for the return leg on Sunday (also 7.45pm GMT), both shown live on Sky Sports.