Curtis Jones made only his third start of the season in the draw at Chelsea but he believes he’s now “back” and ready to contribute in the final 10 games.
The 22-year-old has seen his season disrupted by injury, like many others, and as a result has started just three games, coming off the bench a further 10 times.
He has been an unused substitute in seven matches and has been left to watch on in Liverpool’s other 22 games, a notable step back after 61 appearances in the previous two seasons combined.
Jones has had to “reduce the amount he trains and plays” to help resolve his fitness issues, making for an “up-and-down time” that he now hopes to be on the other side of.
After playing 79 minutes in the stalemate at Chelsea, the most since the win over Napoli at the start of November, he felt he was “steady” throughout his long-awaited return.
“I was decent, I was decent,” was how Jones assessed his performance to the club’s official website. “I’ve been out for say 15 weeks, it’s been an up-and-down time.
“I’ve come in, I was steady. I was keeping the ball well, I wasn’t trying to do too much.
“It was good to be out there again with the team and I’ll see what the rest of the season looks like.
“It’s important, the more I play the better I am. It’s been a hard time but now I’m back, so I’m excited.”
In a much-changed side and after only 55 minutes for Liverpool since the turn of the year, there has to be allowances for Jones on his return, who was solid yet unspectacular.
Jurgen Klopp assessed his performance as “good, absolutely good. Until he lost power a little bit, but that’s now completely normal.”
Jones’ progress has been hampered this season and his future will come under question, but it is clear that his priority is to give himself the best chance of more minutes and momentum heading into pre-season.