It might seem like the season only just ended, but Liverpool are back at it after a short break with the Reds returning to Melwood earlier today to get started on pre-season training ahead of a whole slew of friendlies just around the corner and a massively important Champions League qualifier coming up quick.
“It was a wonderful rest for all of us, absolutely deserved,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp when asked about the squad’s holidays. “I saw the boys this morning and I saw in their faces that they’re ready to go. So I’m ready to go. It’s cool,” enthused the German. “Of course, it’s not what they love most, it’s kind of a weird relationship [with pre-season] – you don’t want to do it but you know it’s necessary so you do it. You feel bad before and you feel perfect afterwards.”
Although the whole squad isn’t back on Merseyside quite yet with the notable absentees of Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Emre Can enjoying a bit of a longer break after their various exploits with their national teams, the likes of Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Nathaniel Clyne, Daniel Sturridge and even Mamadou Sakho were on hand to put in the hard yards at Melwood. While there will almost certainly be some changes to the personnel in the coming weeks, it’s time to get back at it — Liverpool kick off their Premier League campaign in just over a month when they square up to Watford on August 12th, but that’s not what’s on Klopp’s mind at the moment.
“We all know in a few weeks we have these qualifiers and there will be pressure on the game,” explained the Reds manager, knowing full well that they have to secure a berth in to the Champions League proper. “But now we have the time to prepare this and we have to use the basis we created last year – it was not too bad. We all know it could have been maybe a little bit better but it could have been much worse,” mused the German. “We are now one of the top four teams in England last season, so now we want to keep this situation and work with it and improve,” added Klopp. “The squad will be stronger this year than it was last year. That’s a real reason for real optimism.”