James Milner says Liverpool’s pre-season defeats against Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla could be exactly what the players needed to remind them how hard they will need to work in the coming months.
Milner says no one had got complacent, but that losing to those two sides in back-to-back matches is a reminder that nothing can be taken for granted. Even after a 97-point season and a Champions League victory, the Reds will need to go again.
Speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, he said: “Back-to-back defeats [against Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla]: if we needed that kick, there it is. It will make us strive on and go even harder if we can.”
Milner also said that the tough schedule that the players are having to face this summer, with lots of travelling across America before they head to Switzerland, will also make it much easier when the campaign begins.
If they can cope with the strain of pre-season travelling, they can certainly cope with a trip to another Premier League side.
Milner added: “It’s been a tough schedule, tough conditions but it’s all money in the bank. Dealing with conditions like this and games so close and the travelling, it will be a piece of cake when we get one game a week at the start of the season.”
Next up for the Reds is Sporting Lisbon in the early hours of Thursday morning, before a trip to Scotland to face Napoli. Lyon come next in Switzerland, before the Community Shield at Wembley against Manchester City and then the Premier League begins, starting at home to Norwich City.
It’s a packed schedule, but one that should get each member of the squad in peak condition ready to go again.