Joe Gomez has admitted to being frustrated at his lack of playing time at Liverpool this season, but says he has no complaints over Gareth Southgate’s decision to leave him out of the England team as a result.
While the 22-year-old added he can’t argue with Jurgen Klopp’s decision to rely on Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip as his first-choice centre-back pairing, he will do his utmost to dislodge one of them from the Reds’ starting line-up.
Gomez played 90 minutes on the opening day win over Norwich but has made just one fleeting appearance from the bench since in the Premier League, and he was relieved to be involved on Wednesday as Liverpool beat MK Dons in the Carabao Cup.
He has been tipped as a future starter for England, but says he doesn’t hold a grudge against Southgate for not choosing him over the last international break.
“I cannot blame him,” he said. “He speaks to me and is a great manager but I have to understand that I have to play for my clubs like other players are. If you meet up with England you are expected to be playing so I have to keep working hard.
“Every footballer wants to be playing. It's frustrating for me. At the same time I understand we are the European champions and the lads are doing well at the minute. Credit to them. All I can do is keep my head down and keep working hard.”
Gomez started alongside Dejan Lovren at MK Dons, with a number of the club’s young prospects also being given the chance to impress.
While he might not have envisioned his second start of the season coming in the Carabao Cup in late September, Gomez felt he had to treat the game as an opportunity to impress like any other.
He will be hoping to feature before the next round in October but with the draw pitting Liverpool against Arsenal, a sterner challenge could well present him with a pathway back into the first team.
"The further we go, it's self-explanatory, the more we will play so we have to treat it like that and our hopeful our hunger can replicate that,” he added.
"You have got to be there every day in training and keep positive because you want to do yourself justice when the time comes.
"If you don't put in the same practice every day in training with the same attitude, you are only doing yourself harm when it comes to your time to play so I have just got to keep doing that every day, keep working. I've got a great set of lads to learn from.
"Obviously Virgil and Joel, me and Dej [Lovren] keep pushing each other as well, it is part of being at Liverpool. I think that was the attitude of everyone [against MK Dons], it's not just another game and all the lads are at home resting. It's a serious competition, we want to go as far as we can.”