LIVERPOOL midfielder Philippe Coutinho is pumping iron in a bid to ensure he has the stamina to last the pace in Premier League football.
The young Brazilian has caught the eye with his turn of pace and ability to pick a pass following his £8.5million January move from Inter Milan – scoring once and providing two assists in three starts.
However, on each occasion Coutinho has been substituted in the second half and he's determined to build up his strength so he can have an impact over the full 90 minutes.
"It is very different here," he said.
"In Brazil the game is very open, the defenders are not as tight with the attacker. I think this is the hardest thing here.
"Also the game is very quick but I feel I can improve these things during training and improve my intensity.
"I have been doing some body building too so I can get more used to the physicality.
"English football is very quick, it has great intensity, and I think this is the big difference.
"In Brazil, football is slower, the tactics are a bit more open and the pitch even seems to be bigger due to the game being so open.
"In Italy, it is a little bit different than it is in Brazil, but here in England it is very quick. I played in Italy and in Spain but the intensity of the game here is very strong. I just have to improve to be able to play at the highest level here."
Coutinho has already established a good understanding with Reds top scorer Luis Suarez and is also relishing lining up alongside skipper Steven Gerrard.
The 20-year-old has no regrets about leaving Italy behind ahead of today's league clash at Southampton.
He added: "Suarez is phenomenal. The goals he scores, the way he gives himself to the team.
"It is very important and I am very happy to be able to play next to him. I think it's the way he gives himself to the team - he fights all the time and chases all the time. He doesn't let one ball go and I admire that in a player.
"I'm not only happy to play next to him, but also other players like Steven Gerrard, who is phenomenal too. These are guys from another world!
"I'm very happy here. I am at a great club and I am wearing a shirt that has a great history.
"What I have noticed in the last few weeks here is that the whole group is very united, strong and fights for their aims. I hope I can learn more and more with my team-mates here."