LIVERPOOL — Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has told BBC Radio 5 Live that he is benefiting from increased responsibility at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp.
Oxlade-Chamberlain netted his fourth goal for Liverpool since moving from Arsenal, scoring the opening goal in the pulsating 4-3 win over Manchester City on Sunday.
The 24-year-old left Arsenal in the summer in a deal that could be worth £40 million, with career progression and more opportunities in his preferred central midfield as reasons for his switch to Merseyside.
“I just think I needed to be one of the players in the team that was one of the ones demanding to go and change the game — get assists and get goals,” he said. “I’ve really been encouraged and pushed to do that.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal on Sunday took his Premier League tally for Liverpool to three, which is as many as he managed in his last 71 appearances for Arsenal.
“I’ve been trying to push myself,” he continued. “I came here to do that and I knew it was time for me to change things and improve myself. I’ve just been focused on doing that.
“The manager has been really encouraging and telling me to get push forward and get more goals. That’s always nice.
“That’s not any detriment to when I was at Arsenal because it’s the same situation. I just wanted a change and, so far, I think I’ve changed a few things in my game and it’s going in the right direction. It’s definitely not there yet. I’ve got more improving to do.”
The England international added: “It was my second goal in front of the Kop and the last time I scored, I felt like I didn’t deserve to score that day, so I didn’t celebrate it.
“Obviously, it was a massive start for us and for me. To score in front of the Kop in a big game is an amazing feeling and I’m glad I could add that and get us off to a good start.”
Liverpool’s win over the Premier League leaders took them up into third place in table, overtaking Chelsea, who drew 0-0 on Saturday, against Leicester City, for the third consecutive game.
“It’s about winning every game that you can,” Oxlade-Chamberlain concluded. “We’re at probably the halfway point and a lot can change.
“Man City have, obviously, been unbelievable up to this point, but we just have to focus on ourselves. That was a big statement for us and a big win.
“We managed to catch Chelsea and that’s what we wanted to do at the start of the day. If you just keep plugging away and winning games then hopefully, Man City will slip up and you never know what will happen.
“But one game at a time, as they say. It’s a boring cliche, but that’s exactly what we need to do now. It was a good for us today, and was sort of the benchmark — maybe minus the two goals.”
Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.