(Reuters) – Back from a knee injury, Liverpool forward Diogo Jota said he hoped to inject confidence and freshness into the Premier League champions during a difficult spell for the club.
Jota made an immediate impact when he joined Liverpool from Wolverhampton Wanderers in September, scoring nine goals in 17 games before injuring his knee in a Champions League match against Midtjylland on Dec. 9.
The 24-year-old was a second-half substitute in Thursday’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea and said he was determined to help his seventh-placed team in the remainder of the season.
Asked what he was looking to bring to the side, Jota told Liverpool’s website: “Just a new boost in terms of confidence and… freshness, because they’ve been playing and fighting for the club. I feel like I could be like a winter transfer.
“That’s what I hope so they can rely on me and think I can help them in the future… Obviously when you’re out for so long it’s not easy to get back on track 100% straight away. But it was good, I played around 35 minutes and felt good,” he said.
Liverpool, who host Fulham on Sunday, have been plagued by injuries and poor form this season, with five successive league defeats at Anfield after they lost none of the previous 68.
“Even last season everyone was talking about the fortress… Obviously the fans were a big help to maintain that, and we’ve lost that,” Jota added.
“But it’s still our home and we need to make the opponents feel like they can’t win games there. At the moment that’s not happening, but we have another opportunity on Sunday to change that again.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)