Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has said that missing pre-season is the cause for his slow start at Anfield.
The England International moved from Southampton to Merseyside in the summer for £25 million, however, he picked up a knee injury early on and was forced to sit on the sidelines.
That meant missing the entire pre-season preparation and he only returned during Liverpool's 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in September.
Lallana believes that missing pre-campaign preparation is why he has not started as brightly as he hoped at the Reds, however he is starting to finally find his feet at Anfield.
Speaking to the Daily Star, he said: "After every game I'm feeling more comfortable.
"I just want to keep working hard and I still feel I can improve even more, get better and put in better performances.
"I don't want to make excuses, but I did miss pre-season. It's a valuable part of getting the rustiness out. It's just going to be with game time now.
"Because of the injuries we've had, I've probably played a lot more than I would have done coming back from injury. But it has been great - that's what you need as a player."
Based on his performances this season, Lallana has settled really well on Merseyside.
He looks a real spark when he is on the ball, always threatening to go forwards and cause problems for the oppositions defence.
During the 1-1 draw with Everton, the 26-year-old started extremely well and was always threatening when on the attack. He won Liverpool a dangerous free kick in the opening minute of the game, when fouled by Gareth Barry which was a harsh challenge.
He seems to be taking to the role of centre-midfield very well, just playing ahead of Jordan Henderson which allows Lallana to fully commit to the attacks.
The former Saints man also works hard for his defence and tracks back to aid his side winning the ball back, fully committing to the tackle.
You could see that his fitness was not up to the levels it should be, as he did not make as big as an impact in the second half and one suspects Lallana will not start in Liverpool's Champions League clash against FC Basel on Wednesday.
Sturridge and Sterling
Lallana has already linked superbly with Raheem Sterling during his time on Anfield. The England team-mates seem to have a excellent understanding of one-another and are very much on the same wavelength when the Reds are on the attack.
Another of their international team-mates, Daniel Sturridge, is yet to return from injury.
Based on what they have already proved for England, the trio should become a force up front for Liverpool and really frighten back fours when they are on the attack.News Now - Sport News