Adam Lallana says that both application and desire to keep working hard on a daily basis have been key to his successful career.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed the 32-year-old as 'an outstanding player' and 'one of the most influential players I've ever had in my life on the training field,' shortly before his departure from Anfield and move to the south coast in the summer.
Lallana said, “I have always tried to train well every day.
“The culture in England is to do that. I remember Mauricio Pochettino saying that he had to drag us off the training pitches at Southampton, but then he would have to drag us back on again!
“Recently it has been more important than ever for me to train as well as I could when I wasn't playing.
“I was having an influence on the young lads coming through and training hard was part of that.
"What's the other option, to not train hard? I don't ever see that as an option."
The Albion man also spoke candidly about his decision to leave Merseyside for Sussex.
“There was a moment during last season that I realised I was going to leave.
“The next few training sessions after were difficult – you come to terms with the fact you're going to move on, you’re going to have to move your family and the kids might have to move schools.
“But once I realised that was going to happen, I treated every training session like it was my last and that was the last seven-or-eight months including lockdown.
“Everything comes to an end at some point and that's the same with a football career. You don't realise that until you're nearer the end.”
Lallana says former boss Klopp's kind comments were well received - the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss labelling him a Liverpool 'legend' - but he was keen to downplay his former manager's high praise.
“It's a great compliment, but I am not comfortable talking about myself and using that word, there are far more legends associated with that football club.
“We had such a strong squad at Liverpool and a really tight core – I was a big part in Jurgen's five years at the club.
“It was nice to be part of that environment and see the journey he took the club on to win the league.”