Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to push on at Liverpool after admitting he has had to adapt to a change in management style following his move from Arsenal.
Liverpool host Southampton at Anfield on Saturday afternoon with Oxlade-Chamberlain hoping to pick up where he left off prior to the international break, against his former club.
The 24-year-old marked his first Premier League start for Liverpool with a goal in the 4-1 win over West Ham, helping Jurgen Klopp’s side to a third straight victory in all competitions, and Oxlade-Chamberlain believes he has now adapted to life on Merseyside.
“It’s been a change for me,” he told Sky Sports. “You want to come to a new club and hit the ground running straightaway and maybe I didn’t do that as quickly as I would have liked.
“Obviously, competition for places is really high here, as I expected, but you’re always eager to be playing straightaway and starting as many games as possible.
“That hasn’t been the case as much but I’ve learnt a lot and I feel like I’ve adapted well to the requirements of the manager, the coaches and the boys as well.
“But it’s been a good integration into this team, and I’m happy with the way it’s gone. It’s just important now that I push on. I learned a big change in the style of play under a new manager.
“Arsene [Wenger] is a great manager and he’s proved that for many years. His philosophy and style of play is based on the ‘Arsenal way’ of playing, with his passing game, which is brilliant and works very well for him.
“Jurgen is very demanding and he makes clear to us our roles and responsibilities, and the intensity that he wants out of us.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool for £35m after expressing a desire to play more in his preferred position of central midfield, having spent six seasons at the Emirates.
He has had to bide his time for opportunities from the start under Klopp, with nine of his 12 appearances coming from off the bench.
With just 255 Premier League minutes under his belt so far this term for his new club, England manager Gareth Southgate opted against selecting Oxlade-Chamberlain for the friendlies against Germany and Brazil.
But having been forced to watch the draws at Wembley, Oxlade-Chamberlain is determined to fight his way back into contention in the build-up to a hectic Christmas schedule.
“My focus is mainly getting my head down here at Liverpool, and producing the performances here to deserve England call-ups,” he added. “I understand that we’re all under that pressure all the time so that’s what I’m focused on, just staying in the fold this season for England.
“Obviously with it being a World Cup year, it’s important to be a part of as many England squads as you can be, so that’s my task going forward. I need to be creating goals, and scoring goals as an attacking player.”
Liverpool are three points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea heading into the weekend’s action, and Klopp can pick from a fully-fit squad after Adam Lallana returned to the fold following a three-month lay-off with a thigh injury.
Dejan Lovren and Sadio Mane are also in contention to face their former club, and Oxlade-Chamberlain anticipates a stiff challenge from Mauricio Pellegrino’s men.
He said: “It’s always a special game for me, playing against Southampton. They always seem to do really well when I play against them, they always seem to be Barcelona on the day, but they’re a great side with a great set-up.
“I haven’t seen too much of what they’re like under the new manager, but I’m sure they’re going to be a tough side. We’re all expecting a tough game, and we’ll be right up for it.”