Former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen admits he did not acknowledge the pressure he played under until he looked back at his career from the safety of retirement.
Pressure is the word which keeps cropping up in relation to Jurgen Klopp’s current squad, especially after successive 1-1 draws against Leicester and West Ham allowed Manchester City to return to the top of the Premier League for the first time in two months.
They are there only on goal difference, having played one match more, but the fact a month ago Liverpool failed to take the chance to go 10 points clear with a win at the Etihad Stadium, and then subsequently missed chances to extend their lead, has led to increased scrutiny of the players.
There was an edge to the Anfield atmosphere just over a week ago when they dropped their first points of the season to a side outside the top six but Owen dismissed suggestions Klopp’s side were struggling to deal with expectations.
“You don’t think about pressure, really. I certainly didn’t,” said the striker, who won the League Cup, FA Cup and Uefa Cup treble with the club in 2001 and next month will play for the Legends team against AC Milan Glorie in an Anfield charity match in aid of the LFC Foundation.