Curtis Jones has stated that he had to shift his mindset in order to solidify his place at Liverpool. He admits to hitting a roadblock when he initially joined Jürgen Klopp’s team.
At the moment, the 22-year-old is experiencing the best time of his professional career. Despite being suspended for three matches, he has solidified a starting position for his childhood team since last season. He also scored the game-winning goal in the European under-21s Championship final in July and has successfully competed against new signings at Liverpool to maintain his spot this season.
Jones is set to start the Europa League tie against Toulouse on Thursday with one game of his domestic ban to serve following his dismissal at Tottenham. The midfielder believes a change in mentality, plus hard work, helped to win Klopp’s trust after initially struggling to claim a consistent run in the Liverpool side.
“I was always one of the younger players on the academy team,” Jones explained. “But when I joined the first team, I felt like I couldn’t progress any further. I had to reassess my game and identify areas for improvement. I’ve always been someone who loves to score goals and take charge on the field.”
“But then I realized: ‘There are additional expectations from the coach and the staff.’ I’ve never been someone who prioritized being the first to initiate a press or run the most, but I have incorporated that into my playing style. I am striving to improve my overall performance. I still have much to learn, but I am making progress.”
Jones was selected for the Euros’ all-star team after impressing for Lee Carsley’s under-21 team. He has a goal of making it into Gareth Southgate’s squad for the senior competition in Germany next summer. He believes that if he continues to play well and score goals, he will have a chance to achieve this goal.
Klopp announced that he plans to make alterations for the upcoming match, which could potentially give Liverpool a five-point advantage over Toulouse, who are currently in second place after only three games. However, he emphasized the importance of showing respect towards Toulouse, acknowledging their impressive achievements such as winning the French Cup last year. He also praised their young and talented team, and their strong vision for their gameplay.
Andy Robertson recently had surgery for a shoulder injury and is not expected to return until early 2024.