Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique is adamant manager Brendan Rodgers was wrong to criticise him earlier in the season.
Rodgers questioned the attitude of the former Newcastle man, as well as Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing, earlier in the season after some poor performances.
However, along with Henderson and Downing, Enrique has forced his way into the starting 11 and, after recently returning from a hamstring injury, looks set to start against West Brom on Sunday.
The Spaniard admits that, although the harsh words spurred him on, he felt angered by his manager’s comments.
“When the manager said what he did, of course I was angry. It had never happened to me before and it was not good that he said his comments in the press,” Enrique told the Sunday Mirror.
“It was not nice to read what he said, but I tried to take it in a good way and do my best. I still don’t think the manager did it the right way. He should have spoken to me first.”
The 27-year-old admits Rodgers’ comments gave him something to prove and also acknowledged that he has to improve to remain a fixture in the Liverpool side.
“I thought to myself, ‘OK, now I have something to prove and I must train even harder’. I didn’t want to be ¬finished at Liverpool. I wanted to stay here and play under the manager,” Enrique said.
“It is true that it worked. He also said some things about Stewart Downing and ¬Jordan Henderson, but all three of us are in the team now. I know I have to ¬improve to keep my place.”