Liverpool defender Nat Phillips is determined not to dwell on the hype that surrounded his performances for The Reds last season.
With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joël Matip all out injured, Phillips played a huge part in ensuring Jürgen Klopp’s men achieved Champions League qualification by finishing third in the league, winning their last five games on the bounce.
However, speaking to Liverpoolfc.com, Phillips knows he would do well not to spend too much time reflecting on the praise he received over that period.
“I’ve always been the same in that I don’t like to overthink or buy into it too much – the positives and negatives – because you don’t want to get carried away with yourself and start getting complacent or, I don’t know, believe the hype too much.
“It’s the same with any bad games or negative aspects, you don’t want to concentrate on them too much and get yourself too down.
“You’ve just got to stay level-headed throughout, which is what I’ve always tried to do.”
When asked about the challenge of trying to break into the first team now that Matip, Van Dijk, and Gomez are all fit, Phillips said:
“That’s nothing new in football, you’ve always got high competition for places. Obviously, with those boys coming back and seeing them play again, it is nice to have them back in front of you and be able to try to pick things up again, like I always used to and try to learn from their games when you see them in training.
“You’ve got to view it as an opportunity. They are three of the best defenders in the world – you’d be daft if you didn’t take that opportunity to try to take on new things yourself and try to learn things from their game.”
Phillips could well be in action for Liverpool this evening as they face Hertha BSC in their latest pre-season friendly – a game where Klopp has admitted that Van Dijk could be ready to take some part in the action as he continues his road back to full fitness.
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