Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has alluded to his fears regarding the fragile mental state of Joe Cole.
The playmaker's arrival at Anfield this summer was one of the standout signings ahead of the new season after his contract had expired at Chelsea.
But Cole has struggled with injury and suspension since joining Liverpool and he is only expected to return to first-team action in Thursday's Europa League match at Steaua Bucharest after five weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.
The Reds have also struggled for form in the first half of the season and Hodgson thinks the combination with his No.10's personal footballing problems have had an impact.
"He isn't a naturally confident character. He suffers when things are not going his way," said Hodgson.
"Everyone at the club has worked hard to make sure he doesn't take it too hard and take too much on himself, because he's quite happy to take responsibility."
Hodgson added: "I am always wary of answering about people's mental state. It's difficult enough to judge them physically. But one thing is certain is that Joe's desperate to show what he can do.
"Because of where he plays, he is one who plays with small margin and then of course the risk of failure is even greater. For some they can get success just by booting the ball away, but Joe can't do it in the position he plays in.
"I don't know how frustrated he's been. He would obviously have liked to hit the ground running but it's not been possible, largely because of injuries.
"But he has a long time with us, a long contract and we know what he's capable of doing. The sooner he produces it of course the better for me, but there is no pressure on him in that respect. He is a quality player who will come good."
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