Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren says his ‘workaholic’ teammates are raring to go again ahead of the new season, which kicks off once more in around a month’s time.
The Croatian lost his place to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip last season, with the trio vying for a spot alongside Virgil van Dijk, but he will be looking to prove during the pre-season games that he deserves that spot back again. At this stage, he’s third in the queue, so he has a lot to do.
Ahead of the first friendly against Tranmere Rovers on Thursday night, Lovren says the Reds are setting their sights high once again, focusing on the ambition of beating last year’s points total.
He told LiverpoolFC.com: “Let’s focus on each game in the Premier League, on each game in the Champions League again. It will be, like we know, a battle between the top four. They are good teams, especially Man City, so they also again want to prove [they are ready].
“But we are also one of the contenders and I am confident in this team because we are growing each year, we are each year better, so I hope we can beat the 97 points.”
Lovren – despite being linked with a move to AC Milan this summer – appears now to be going nowhere. He could have a big part to play in the season given he remains an experienced and valuable member of the squad. Gomez and Matip’s injury record’s suggest he’ll get a chance at some point, even if it’s not straight away.
It might well take a greater than 97-point season to win the Premier League, given Manchester City will be going nowhere and Tottenham will be seeking to close the gap to the top. Nothing less than a perfect pre-season will be sufficient to get the campaign proper underway in the right manner.