Lovren ignoring critics at Liverpool after Klopp claim he can be world's best

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The Reds defender has come under fire at times this season, but he retains the full support of his manager and is learning to believe in himself more

Dejan Lovren says Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has helped him through his struggles at Anfield by telling him that he can be “one of the best players in the world”.

The Croatia international defender has faced regular rounds of criticism since completing a £20 million move from Southampton in the summer of 2014.

He has not always been the most assured of presences at the heart of Liverpool’s back four, with costly errors seeing him thrust under the microscope.

One such outing was endured against Tottenham back in October when he was hauled off before half-time in a 4-1 defeat at Wembley.

Lovren has, however, retained the full support of his manager, telling The Sunday Times of his talks with Klopp: “When he took me out at Spurs, I was fuming. But after, when we spoke, it took a couple of days then he invited me into his room.

“I wanted answers but he said positive things. He said ‘If you just think about yourself like I think about you, you will be one of the best players in the world'.

“You know maybe, it’s sometimes just... just my self-confidence disappears in some moments. And he believes in me, you know? And I believe in him.

“Sometimes, I’m a person who thinks ‘Ah, I’m really good’. But other times I think ‘Ah, I did that, I’m not good enough’.

“He says always be level, but it’s difficult. You have sometimes self-confidence, sometimes not; sometimes good moods, sometimes not.”

Lovren believes he has, rather unfairly, been made a scapegoat for Liverpool’s defensive struggles.

Dejan Lovren Liverpool

He is learning, though, to turn a deaf ear to the detractors and focus on being the best that he can be.

The 28-year-old centre-half added: “Everyone makes mistakes, but I play one bad game in 18 and everyone says, ‘Look, look, look’. Why? I don’t deserve that.

“People don’t see me in the ‘small’ games. They see 5-0 against Porto but nobody sees my part.

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“Does it get me down? No. It’s a challenge. A personality challenge. After a mistake, are you ready to move on?

“I did it straightaway after Spurs when I was in that record of 18 games unbeaten. Big players don’t need six or seven games; big players in the next game prove you wrong.

“But some people don’t care about that Dejan. They’re just searching for the next mistake.”

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