Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has said he felt like a "caged lion" when left out of the side by former manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Frenchman did not feature in Liverpool's opening five games of the season, with Dejan Lovren preferred, despite the sides' persistent defensive problems.
Sakho's future at the club seemed in doubt until he was recalled for the Europa League group game against Bordeaux, in which he captained the side and gave a commanding display. The next day, to the surprise of many, he signed a new deal at Anfield.
"Let's say that during the short period when I was not playing, I was like a little caged lion who had not been fed for a while," he told French newspaper L'Equipe. "And when you open the door, he charges."
The centre-back is seen by many as the epitomy of the problems with Liverpool's divisive'transfer committee'. Sakho has long been thought of as a 'committee' player and thus not one who had Rodgers' full confidence.
Despite arriving at Anfield over two years ago, the 25-year-old is yet to truly establish himself as one of Liverpool's first-choice centre-halves.
It remains to be seen whether, following the Northern Irishman's departure on Sunday, Sakho will consolidate his place in the side.
In the interview with L'Equipe, Sakho also revealed that he is in touch with former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. After the Bordeaux game, the LA Galaxy midfielder texted his old teammate to congratulate him on earning the captain's armband.
"Steven is an example," Sakho said. "Also, he often sends me small text messages like after my first match of the season at Bordeaux, in the Europa League, with the captain armband."
"He texted me to congratulate me, he said: 'Continue to fight like that, I'm proud of you.'"
"It's always nice to receive such a message from a great player."
The Frenchman also showed off his knowledge of the scouse dialect to L'Equipe and told of how his teammates had made him a special dictionary to understanding the patter on Merseyside.
"If I say 'sounds (sic) lads', do you know what that means?," he asked the newspaper. "It means 'cool man'".