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Thursday 8 December 2016

Danny Ings: I'll do the dirty work to let creative players shine at Liverpool

Liverpool's Danny Ings
Liverpool's Danny Ings

Liverpool striker Danny Ings believes his all-action style can help make the jobs of the team's talented playmakers' easier.

Daniel Sturridge's long injury lay-off last season meant the Reds lacked anyone who was willing to stretch opposition defences, which impacted on the space the more creative players had to work in.

With Mario Balotelli seemingly unwilling and Rickie Lambert not suited to pulling opponents out of position manager Brendan Rodgers regularly opted for the now-departed Raheem Sterling in a central role up front despite him not being a striker.

It remains to be seen how £32.5million signing Christian Benteke, who only begins training with his new team-mates this week after they returned from their pre-season tour, fits in with Rodgers' style but Ings is confident he can offer a useful option.

"After my knee injury (in 2012) I sort of devoted my whole time to working on my speed, my movement, and my creativity," he told LFCTV GO.

"What I've found was really effective, even at Championship level, was making runs constantly in behind.

"As soon as a defender switches off that run in behind is so effective.

"As long as there's someone stretching the pitch and you've got your creative players behind you in that space - and you've got players at this football club to feed those runs - you can be an effective team.

"It's certainly something I'm looking forward to."

Ings is happy to take on the selfless role making runs which may not even see him receive the ball if it means the likes of Philippe Coutinho and new signing Roberto Firmino can benefit from the space which opens up.

"I think with the way the game is going, it's full of creative players now, players who want to be on the ball all the time," he added.

"[But] I really do think, even if I don't touch the ball as much as those guys if I'm still stretching the game it's still as effective.

"It can all get too crunched and if you don't create space for those players in behind you then it's hard to create opportunities.

"I'll always work on my game and stretching in behind."

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