Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones has emphasised that criticism is just part of football as he battles for a starting midfield spot amid fresh competition.

Despite his excellent recent form, at times last season Jones struggled with injuries and could not hold down a regular place in the starting eleven until the end of the season.

Ahead of Liverpool’s Europa League clash with Toulouse at Anfield tomorrow, hid dismissed the criticism in those difficult periods, adding: “I couldn’t care if I’m honest… I just know it’s part of the game, it doesn’t faze me.

“I’m a Scouser, you know, we’re used to the bad part of things.”

Jones partly attributes finding his best form to the hunger he had to come back from injury, especially while the team were enduring a poor phase.

He added: “More importantly, I just needed games. The most important thing that I had at the end of the season was that I was playing game after game after game.”

Since claiming a regular place on Jurgen Klopp’s team sheet during the last season’s run-in, Jones maintained his place despite several midfield arrivals over the summer.

On the midfield competition, Jones said: “I think it’s as simple as if you play well, you keep your place.”

His form since the end of last season has demonstrated just that.

Having started the final 11 games of the 2022/23 campaign, his sending off against Spurs last month came during his fourth consecutive league start.

Reflecting on his suspension, Jones said: “It’s been tough… a small mistake like that stops the run of games.

“In terms of the tackle itself and how I saw it at the end of the game I was unfortunate, but then I’ve seen what the referee was shown, he was only shown the clip of where my foot was on his leg, so it’s understandable at the same time.

“I’ve moved on, I’m past that now and I’m excited for the next games.”

Jones is likely to come into Liverpool’s team to face Toulouse on Thursday night.

Nottingham Forest’s trip to Anfield on Sunday is the last match of the No. 17’s suspension.

(Image by Alamy under paid for licence agreement)