Joe Gomez was speaking at the launch of the new Call Of Duty Black Ops 111 DLC pack, Eclipse, containing 4 new multiplayer maps and the next instalment of zombie. Available now on PS4.
Joe Gomez has revealed he is back training outside and is looking to be fit for the start of pre-season as he looks to recover from his injury hell.
The 18-year-old, who ruptured his ACL in October last year, has not yet played a game for Jurgen Klopp.
Speaking in an exclusive interview to Anfield HQ, Gomez revealed he is itching to join back up with the lads, and has been extremely impressed with what he has seen so far this season under the new manager.
To kick off then how is the injury? How is the rehabilitation going and have you managed to undergo any light exercise yet?
“Yeah I’m staying positive and it’s going well. I’m back outside now so that has been a big step up for me in terms of getting on with my rehab and doing my ball work and just trying to build up my fitness really, so that’s where I am now.
How have these last 6 months been for you? From making your full premier league debut at Stoke City on the opening day of the season to 6 months recovering on the sidelines, you must be itching to get back now?
“Obviously it’s been frustrating for me because it’s obviously the first real big injury, so the shock at the time of the injury, it took a while for me to understand what was going on. Being injured has been frustrating and I just want to play. I’m just trying to stay positive and get back as soon as I can, the aim is to be in better shape than I was before so I just need to stay positive really.”
You were brought to Liverpool by Brendan Rodgers in June 2015, and were making your first team debut for the club less than 8 weeks later – it must have been a whirlwind couple of months for you! How were you feeling at the time?
“Coming into Liverpool was a dream come true for me, a massive club, but it happened so fast I didn’t really have time to sit back and look at it and understand it. I came in, and knew I had to do my best to impress the manager and prove myself to the rest of the team, take in as much as I could early on and be in the best possible position to play. It was just all a whirlwind really from last season coming into pre-season, playing with top quality players, it happened so fast I didn’t have time sit back and take it in.”
The appointment of Jurgen Klopp came a few days before your injury, when you’d heard Brendan Rodgers had left and it was Klopp coming in, what was your reaction?
“Obviously Brendan brought me to the club and gave me my opportunity, but when you hear a top name in the world like Jurgen Klopp is coming in, you hearts pumping and for me as a young player, having a manager like Jurgen Klopp come in, it’s a massive opportunity really and that was the first thing that came into my head.
The injury happened so quickly afterwards, there wasn’t much time for anything to happen but now my feeling is still that I have to learn under him, to get back as soon as I can and to work hard.”
How how Jurgen been with you these past 6 months or so, he was obviously there waiting for you after your scan results back in October, has he been helping you through the injury, I guess mentally just as much as physically?
“Obviously there’s not much physically for me to do with him because I’m not fit, but mentally, I mean the first day I came in after the injury, I had the scan and that was his first day at Melwood. Obviously I was quite traumatised at the time after my scan, but he basically said I just had to stay positive, work to get back and obviously that has stuck with me ever since, and it’s been a small bit of motivation for me to get back, so he’s been asking how I am every now and again so mentally that’s how I’m coping because that is probably the hardest part of the injury, the mental side, just being away from football.”
Danny Ings suffered a similar injury in the same week as you last October, you revealed earlier this year that you two had been helping each other through the rehabilitation, how much of a help has he been to you personally as well as other members of the first team?
“Danny has been a massive part of my rehab, just because obviously we had our operations on the same day, we’ve been in together since Day One, and regardless of where we are we’ve been together for the same amount of time in the same environment undergoing the same thing, so we can naturally relate to each other because we are in the same position. He’s a positive person and he’s been such a massive help for me, helping me get through the rehab, all the different parts and the different stages. I’v got a good bond with Danny and I couldn’t have imagined doing that without him.”
We’ve seen some incredible results in the last 6 months, the 4-1 win at Manchester City, 3-1 at Chelsea, the 6-1 in the League Cup at Southampton along with some important European victories as well – I’ll ask you about the other night in a second, but do you feel this Liverpool team really have defied the odds in some performances this season or is it not a surprise to you having seen the lads train day in day out under Klopp?
“It’s been great for me, watching the team playing well and obviously wanting the team to do well and progress and to be a part of it. It’s been frustrating at times not to be a part of it with them but it’s been great to see for me, seeing the team play well, play in a cup final, the game against Borussia Dortmund, seeing the team play with confidence so that’s good for me to see. Going to all the games and just learning how the team’s playing now under the new manager so I’m just embracing it really. When the team’s doing well everyone’s positive and I’m positive with them.”
Lets talk about Dortmund the other night, I think a lot of fans are still reeling from game! From your point of view just how incredible was that?
“For me, it was the best game I have ever watched live, being there, to be a part of it and to be in the dressing room, it was amazing The atmosphere….those are the sorts of games you live for, playing against Borussia Dortmund at Anfield and beating them in the way the team did….to be in that environment was amazing for me. Even though I wasn’t involved, just to be in that surrounding was just amazing for me.”
What were your thoughts when you first walked out at Anfield? Because obviously everything happened so quickly, what was it like walking in out in front of one of the most famous stadiums in world football?
“It’s something you dream of as a kid, to play at a ground like Anfield with the history and the fans and the passion of the club, it was a dream come true for me. It was surreal really, but it’s something I want to get back to, and it’s more motivation for me just to try and get back to playing in front of the crowd again, so hopefully I’ll be back doing that again.”
When you do come back into the set up, you’ll be joined by Joel Matip from Schalke…are you looking forward to working and learning from him?
“Yeah, coming to a club like Liverpool, being young all I want to do is learn, and playing and training with the likes of Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel, Toure, Sakho….everyday there are opportunities to learn and to be the best that I think I can be. I’m just grateful to be in that environment, and with new players coming in, it’s just another opportunity to learn from them.”
Liverpool still have a lot left to play for this season, having knocked out Borussia Dortmund, are you confident the club can now go on and win the Europa League?
“Yeah definitely, the Dortmund game was a massive game, we showed and proved that we are capable of winning. I think we definitely consider ourselves favourites to win it, think that’s the ambition of the whole team, to win it. I think everyone’s in a confident mood and playing well, so I don’t see why we can’t go on and win it.”
Just finally, how much are you looking forward to getting back playing again with the lads under Jurgen Klopp and getting a full pre-season under your belt at Liverpool this summer?
“I can’t wait, that’s all my focus is on, I can’t wait to get fit and just get back in with the team and playing, and that’s all that’s motivating me. That’s all I’m focused on that’s my main aim right now.”
Is there a timeline at all on when you think you’ll be back, will it be pre-season?
“Listen I am in a positive place, my main aim is to get back with the team at the start of pre-season, so I’m going to work as hard as I can over the summer, and just try and get myself in the best possible position for the start of pre-season.”