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Adrian insists his “mentality is always the same” despite drop to third choice

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Adrian‘s standing as his third-choice goalkeeper, but after the Spaniard’s return to the side he insists his “character was always the same.”

There were over four months between Adrian‘s start at Sheffield United on Sunday night and his last appearance for the Reds, and it saw him belatedly follow up one clean sheet with another.

A shutout in the 1-0 victory over Ajax in October was repeated with a 2-0 win at Bramall Lane, as the 34-year-old kept it simple standing in for the bereaved Alisson.

Usually, deputy duties would fall to Caoimhin Kelleher, but an injury to the Irishman gave Adrian the opportunity, and after the game, Klopp told BBC Sport he “showed pure class and character, and what kind of personality he is.”

Speaking to LFCTV, Adrian was asked about the difficulty of not playing for four months and being asked to perform to the standard he did at the weekend, and he insisted his mindset is unchanged.

“To be fair, my mentality and character was always the same from the moment I signed for Liverpool,” he said.

“Be ready for anything and try to help the team as much as I can when the manager gives me the opportunity.

“This time was because of the situation with Ali, so obviously we have to be ready as always.

“Everyone pushes each other. It was my opportunity tonight, and I’m really happy. Not just for the clean sheet and three points, but also for the work of all the lads.”

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 28, 2021: Liverpool's Ozan Kabak and goalkeeper Adrián San Miguel del Castillo look to the assistant referee after an own-goal, it was disallowed for off-side, during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Adrian was also questioned on his continued role behind the scenes – despite rarely featuring – in ensuring spirits are high and focus is maintained during a difficult campaign.

“That is a mentality that we have to show. Everyone, not just the experienced players,” he continued.

“This season was never easy from the beginning, but we come back, we are here again, we got a great three points. Let’s recover the legs for the next one.”

It is a credit to Adrian, who is far from the most revered figure on Merseyside, that he has stayed positive having lost his place to a player 12 years his junior and with considerably less experience.

He is likely to revert to his backup role again this week as Chelsea visit Anfield, but he deserves praise for contributing to a vital clean sheet in a turbulent time for Liverpool.

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