Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has opened up on the challenges he has faced at Anfield after being handed a lesser role for the 2019/20 campaign.
The Merseysiders paid Southampton £20m to bring the Croat to the club in 2014, with the World Cup finalist swiftly earning a starting berth in the Reds backline. He made 152 appearances for the side in all competitions during his first four seasons, but has since found himself out of favour under Jurgen Klopp, featuring in only two Premier League matches this term.
Ahead of Lovren in the Liverpool pecking order are first-choice pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, with Joe Gomez also leapfrogging the 30-year-old following his return from a broken leg.
Discussing his current situation in the north-west with the Evening Standard, the centre-back explained: "It was a challenge for me this summer to stay here, but I gave everything in pre-season and I fought.
"There are always some new challenges, maybe, in front of you. It depends whether you accept them or not, but it also depends on whether you are needed in the team or not. In the end, I stayed and I am quite happy."
Liverpool had been looking to offload Lovren over the off-season, nearly agreeing his sale to Roma. However, the Reds board grew frustrated with negotiations and the deal, therefore, collapsed.
That failed move to Serie A hasn't affected his attitude and work-ethic, with the former Southampton star's saying: "The transfer window time is now over. I will always be here if I am needed. I am giving more than 100% for this club from day one.
"You are fighting with yourself and your character. It is always about fighting and the fighting spirit. There are good days and bad days. Everything, at the moment, is fine.
"That is part of the job, to work hard behind the scenes, even if you don't get a chance. I always believed in myself and am giving 100% on the training ground.
"The boss sees it and in the end, it is his decision who plays or not. I am a fighter. That's the key point, to be patient. There are players who are patient and there are players who are not patient. It is part of the game and you need to accept it."