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Lallana not worried about expiring contract but knows he must earn Liverpool stay

5:35 pm AEST 13/9/19
Adam Lallana Liverpool 2019-20
The England international has endured a tough time with injuries and acknowledges that he must prove himself deserving of fresh terms at Anfield

Adam Lallana is not worried about his expiring contract at Liverpool but acknowledges that he has to prove himself deserving of an extended stay.

The 31-year-old midfielder is due to hit free agency in the summer of 2020.

He will have spent six years at Anfield by that point and hopes that a prolonging of his association with the Reds can be agreed.

Lallana is, however, aware that he has to play his way to fresh terms after enduring a tough time with injuries.

He told The Times on his uncertain future: “Worry is the wrong word.

“Of course, you think ahead and like to plan to a degree. I love it here. But I’m not obsessing about my future. Being as fit as I can, and working as hard as I can, is at the forefront of my mind. The rest will take care of itself.

“I feel happy. I feel fit and strong. If I want to be part of this team, the best team in Europe, I need to keep improving and developing and that is what I have found difficult over the last two years because I have not been able to show that. I can’t be the same player, I need to be better because the team is better.

“I didn’t make the squad for the first game of the season [against Norwich City] and that was a bit of an eye-opener. I didn’t see that happening. I hadn’t experienced that since I was growing up at Southampton.

“But it is a 60-game season and I look at my last couple of seasons and think just be patient, be persistent and eventually my chance will come.

“If I am fit, I am sure I will contribute in a big way.”

Lallana admits to having experienced some dark days during his time on the treatment table, with a succession of fitness issues leading him to remove himself from the main group under Jurgen Klopp.

He added: “It got to the point where I said to the medical team to make my schedule opposite to the rest of the boys, so I didn’t need to act as if everything was ok in front of them anymore.

“If they came in in the morning, I did afternoon sessions. I felt I was going to be back for the business end of the season [in 2018-19]: semi-finals, going for the league. The rotation for matches was there. So that was a big, big blow.

“There were loads of periods during last season when I was sad and angry, not at anyone in particular, just at the situation. I was continually battling to contribute, to be dependable to my team-mates because when you get injured, it is almost, not a sign of weakness, but you are not able to do your job fundamentally.

“At times, my insecurities were real. How am I going to get back into the team? I felt like I was climbing a ladder that was never-ending at times. Sometimes I was taking a step back but the team was taking two forward.”