Stewart Downing has delivered a frank personal assessment of his first 18 months as a Liverpool player – a privileged position the wide-man relishes and is anxious to continue.
Signed last summer from Aston Villa and a regular under former manager Kenny Dalglish, the 28-year-old has found a permanent role harder to secure since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers.
But the England international is determined to prove his worth at Anfield, having been named in the Reds' starting line-up for the 50th time on Thursday against Udinese.
"I think it's been a bit up and down - frustrating at times," Downing reflected when asked by Liverpoolfc.com to summarise his career with the club to date.
"The highlights were the cup finals, though obviously the league season wasn't very good. I've been disappointed this season not to play as many games as I have, but I'm just trying to do my best when I've played and trying to get a goal.
"We'll have to wait and see. It's a great club to play for and this is why I wanted to come, to play in a good team. Hopefully it long continues."
How does Downing intend to make that happen? "To get on the field first and play well, whatever position that is - if it's left-back or on the wings," he continued.
"The competition for places is quite strong. The manager has brought a few players in, there's still [Fabio] Borini to come back, and obviously he's going to reinforce. It's as tough as ever, but it's a good challenge and I'm looking forward to it."
Downing will hope to play a part when the Reds travel to West Ham United on Sunday - although the side will be without suspended top goalscorer Luis Suarez.
The winger is confident that Rodgers' men can cope with the absence of their talisman and build a winning run throughout the hectic Christmas period.
He added: "We have played some games without Luis and I'm sure we've got options to do that - Jonjo [Shelvey] has played in that position before, Steven Gerrard has played there many times.
"With his quality and form this season, it's obviously a massive blow - there's no hiding that. But we have to cope without him and prove that we're not a one-man team.
"The performances have been there - I think it's just the luck in front of goal. It's probably a similar story to last season, we played ever so well but didn't finish our chances.
"If we can get from now until January and pick up some points, I'm sure we'll reinforce again and look at the striking areas. The manager has already said he would do so we just need goals in the team.
"It has been a strange season. We've not won many games but we're still in the mix. If you get two results back-to-back, you're in the mix. If you lose two, you're down there.
"It's that type of season, but with this run of games we're confident we can pick up a few points - starting at West Ham. That's got to be the mentality, to just keep winning games and picking up points."
Fresh from a 3-1 victory over reigning European champions Chelsea last weekend, the eighth-placed Hammers will pose a genuine threat according to Downing.
"They're doing well - they've signed some good players. Andy Carroll went there on loan, he's been a big plus for them. Kevin Nolan always gets you a goal," continued the former Middlesbrough man.
"It will be a tough game. You saw at the weekend against Chelsea, they gave them a hell of a game.
"When Chelsea went ahead, you were probably thinking they'll win the game comfortably. But it shows their fight, their spirit and togetherness in the team - we have to be wary of that.
"Even if we do go in front, they can always come back. Especially at Upton Park - it's a hostile place to play and the fans get right behind them. So we have to be ready for the full 90 minutes.
"The manager stresses that if their fans get behind them and they have a go, they are a good team.
"We are missing Luis at the weekend, which is a blow for us, but we're still looking forward to the game and with the run of games we've got now we're hoping to get points."
Rodgers has switched Downing from his traditional wing position to a defensive post in recent weeks - with teammate Jose Enrique enjoying an attacking mission further forward.
The Englishman was keen to praise his Spanish colleague and explained that a willingness to adapt is an important element for any squad.
"He's done very well. He's got the attributes to play there - he's more of a wing-back type. He can get up and down, he's strong and quick," Downing said of Enrique.
"I think he's enjoyed playing where he is, and I've enjoyed where I am. It's turned out a bit strange, but it helps the team. Jose was injured for a little spell and I had to fill in, even Glen [Johnson] has played there.
"You need players to adapt and play in different positions. Getting that first goal was a big plus for him because we gave him a bit of stick for not getting a goal.
"I'm sure he's glad to get off the mark, and you can see in his performances in the last couple of weeks since his injury he's done very well.
"We had a decent relationship last season when we played, when Kenny was here. We linked up quite well. Even when I played left-back and he was left wing, we clicked straight away.
"We can fill in for each other, which we did at Swansea. I enjoy playing with him - I think he's a good player."