Konchesky learns from lessons at Liverpool
This time last year Paul Konchesky was preparing to make his Liverpool debut after a deadline-day move from Premier League rivals Fulham.
Fast forward 12 months and the 30-year-old is gearing up for Leicester's trip to Barnsley as the Championship resumes after the international break.
He has exchanged one of the most famous clubs in England for one of the most ambitious.
The east Midlands club are bankrolled by their Thai owners - the wealthy Raksriaksorn family who own a firm that sells duty-free goods at Thailand's airports - and have strengthened way beyond the means of many top-flight clubs, let alone most of their Championship rivals, as Sven-Goran Eriksson's team attempt to fast-track promotion to the Premier League.
In the Football League, Leicester have been the story of the summer; compulsive viewing - the club with a wow factor as one new face after another arrived. The likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Neil Danns, John Paintsil, David Nugent, Michael Ball, Matthew Mills, Sean St. Ledger and Jermaine Beckford have all joined in addition to Konchesky, who signed in early July. The club have spent close to £10m, with many of their signings believed to be on high wages.
Konchesky is confident Leicester will handle the pressure to succeed. Photo: Getty Images
Big signings equal huge expectations but a return of four points from their opening four league games, including back-to-back home defeats, created an early build-up of pressure that was partially relieved by a 3-2 home win over high-flying Southampton in the previous fixture.
"After [losing] the first two home games it was crucial that we defeated Saints," Konchesky told me. "The home games have been very tough because of the expectations of the fans.
"We have spent a lot of money and the supporters want us to win every game but the Championship is a tough league."
To be able to shut out the pressure Konchesky tries not to look too far ahead, just focusing on the next game, while he reckons that activities such as a recent trip to the races have helped to foster a good team spirit.
Konchesky is also confident that his time on Merseyside will help him withstand the pressure at Leicester.
Twelve months ago a slightly fortunate goalless draw at Birmingham marked a solid if unspectacular start to his Anfield career but the defender's time at Liverpool coincided with a troubled period for the club.
New manager Roy Hodgson struggled to establish himself following his move from Fulham and he left the club after a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn on 5 January. That fixture also proved to be the last of the 18 appearances Konchesky made in a Liverpool shirt.
Konchesky's time at Anfield was not helped by an unwise Facebook comment made by the player's mother, who branded some of the club's supporters "Scouse scum". On the field he did not lack effort and his attitude was excellent but he struggled to adjust to the standards required of a club aiming for a top-four finish. He was honest enough to hold his hands up after his mistake late in a fixture at Tottenham in late November cost his team a 2-1 defeat. Konchesky did not play after Kenny Dalglish returned to the club in early January and was loaned out to Nottingham Forest, before joining Leicester permanently.
"I enjoyed my time at Liverpool, the experience of being at a top club," added Konchesky. "I wish them nothing but good luck.
"The tough times were when I was not playing but I was at a club where there is constant pressure, every season, so hopefully from leaving there to come here I am now used to high expectations."
Konchesky, who has previously also played for Charlton, Tottenham and West Ham, won both of his England caps under his current boss Eriksson. The first came in a 3-1 friendly defeat against Australia in 2003 and the second saw him feature as a substitute in a 3-2 win over Argentina in 2005. He reckons the Swede was a big factor in his move to the King Power Stadium.
"Sven is a nice man and a great coach," added Konchesky. "He has been there with England and he can calm things down and give us confidence.
"Everyone is talking about Leicester and I wanted to be a part of it."
Konchesky, who had his best game in a Leicester shirt against Saints, sounded relaxed and confident as he discussed Leicester's prospects of promotion.
"With 46 league games in the Championship it is very long but with the cup competitions as well we want to be playing a lot more games than that," he added.
Konchesky, who became a father for the third time last week, has clearly put a difficult year behind him and is keen to use his experience positively. He is also hopeful that Liverpool fans have not seen the last of him.
Next season the left-back would like to be back at Anfield, as part of a Leicester team playing in the top flight for the first time since 2004.