Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino admits he is using his frustrations towards his lack of game time as inspiration whenever he does get on the pitch.
The 26-year-old has started just five of his 13 appearances in all competitions – six of which add up to a combined 40 minutes of Premier League action – but he has still bagged an impressive five goals.
Minamino has been particularly prolific in the Carabao Cup, conjuring up an assist and a 95th-minute goal against Leicester to drag Liverpool through to the semi-final of the competition, before which he confessed that he is channeling his lack of minutes into something more positive.
“As a player I always want to play every match,” he said (via the Daily Mail). “I think a kind of frustration is common for the players [who don’t play] but I like to turn this frustration into positiveness with my attitude.
“I put in a lot of effort every day to play more and to get game time. I want to play more games and I want to prove to myself that I can do much better, so I use my frustration to turn everything positive.
“But I am at the best club in the world and I can spend the best time of my career at this club. As I have said before, I would like to contribute to this club as much as possible. That is the best thing I can do.”
Despite voicing his concerns towards the situation, Minamino harboured no ill-will towards manager Jurgen Klopp, admitting the German has been as fair as he can be with him.
“I have been given more game time in the Carabao Cup, which is a great opportunity for me,” he continued.
“It is a chance to show what I can do and to prove myself and I am happy that I could contribute to the team’s wins. I hope I can continue to do more of the same.
“The manager always tries to keep the players’ motivation higher. When I’m not playing in a match he always speaks to me and helps keep my motivation high. He is always very fair to every player so I quite admire his management skills.”