Jurgen Klopp was in high in spirits on Wednesday as he welcomed back the initial group of Reds returning for pre-season training at Melwood.
Over 20 players arrived at the West Derby complex for the first day back as the club’s physically demanding summer preparations got underway.
The Reds boss was the first to admit that fitness work wasn’t something his players were necessarily looking forward to but did also claim he saw enough to suggest they were more than prepared to put the hard work in.
“They’re ready to go. I’m ready to go. It’s cool.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 5, 2017
Klopp also stressed the importance of his side picking up where it left off ahead of the club’s Champions League playoff clash, scheduled for August.
“We all know in a few weeks we have these qualifiers and there will be pressure on the game,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“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.”
“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.”
“The squad will be stronger this year than it was last year. That’s a real reason for real optimism.”
Liverpool will kick off their busy pre-season schedule with next week’s trip to face Tranmere Rovers, which will be followed by a meeting with Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium before the club’s participation in the Asia Trophy and eventually a friendly against Hertha Berlin before the end of July.
The next month will then see the Reds compete in the Audi Cup before rounding off their pre-season with a game against Athletic Club on 5 August at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
All promise to be ideal opportunities for Klopp to experiment with his squad as he looks to determine his strongest lineup and preferred systems.
The players look ready to go again ahead of a campaign in which they will be expected to fight for the Premier League title and compete in every cup competition they are involved in.
Bring on the new season.