I have to calm my nerves – Darwin Nunez admits to difficult start at Liverpool
The Uruguay international, a £64million summer signing who could end up costing a club-record £85m, scored in his first two appearances but was then banned after foolishly getting himself sent off.
His red card against Crystal Palace after reacting to provocation by defender Joachim Andersen was particularly disruptive as a three-match ban left the forward effectively having to start from scratch.
He has failed to score in five appearances since his return but, on his first start since that dismissal, he put in an encouraging performance in the 2-0 Champions League win over Rangers.
“The truth is that it was a little difficult to adapt but I believe that, as training and games go by, I will adapt little by little,” he told TNT Sports Brasil.
“(After the red card) was a very tough time. I was suspended for three games, I know I made a big mistake and now I’m aware that it won’t happen again.
“I have to calm my nerves during the games, talk less. We all make mistakes and I know it will serve as a learning experience.
“The important thing is to leave my mark on the team, someone who can always contribute by playing well and, if I don’t score, I have to be calm.
“When the first one goes in, more will go in. I’ve been through that (goal droughts) and it’s a little uncomfortable because, in the end, as forwards we live on goals.
“But I’m calm, the coach has always supported me. My team-mates also support me at all times and I will always try to help the team by scoring goals or, even without a goal, try to help the best I can.”
The language barrier has been something of an issue for the former Benfica striker, certainly in his discussions with manager Jurgen Klopp, and he has leant heavily on Portuguese-speaking assistant boss Pep Lijnders and Portugal native Vitor Matos, another member of the coaching staff.
Klopp and Lijnders spoke with Nunez at the weekend in an attempt to reassure him their faith was unwavering and he should not worry and the striker responded at Anfield.
“Well, we don’t talk much. I don’t know English and he (Klopp) doesn’t know Spanish,” he added.
“(Pep and Vitor) are the translators when Klopp talks to the group. They sit next to me and explain what I have to do.
“If they didn’t explain it to me, I’d enter the field with no idea what to do.
“But the relationship with the coach is that he supports me, gives me confidence and I have to repay that on the field.”
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