Stand and deliver - Liverpool aim for glory in expanded Anfield
Published 09/09/2016 | 12:06
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner insists Anfield's new Main Stand welcomes in a new era for the club.
The new structure, adding a further 8,500 seats to bring the ground's capacity up to 54,000, was officially opened on Friday just over 24 hours before Liverpool host Premier League champions Leicester.
Owners Fenway Sports Group funded the project, which began in December 2014, with a £115million loan after deciding against building a new stadium on Stanley Park.
"Redeveloping the Main Stand has been about improving our home rather than having to abandon it in the name of progress," said Werner.
"We want what all Liverpool supporters want - future success on the pitch.
"Anfield isn't just where we play matches. Anfield is home and it's as much part of the identity of this club as the Liverbird on the crest of the shirt.
"Tomorrow marks a new chapter for this great football club. We look to the future while respecting our past and, most importantly, we continue our journey at Anfield."
Manager Jurgen Klopp brought his squad to train at Anfield on Thursday evening just so they could familiarise themselves with the new sights and surroundings.
He is hoping the additional capacity will help his side on the pitch but admits the players have to be the ones to inspire the crowd and not the other way around.
"This club is built on our fantastic history. We have to change this a little bit and the first step is this stand, which is better than it was before," he said.
"The first step is to fill the stadium with life. We have to start tomorrow. We had a training session here yesterday and I got quite angry and, yeah, I can say the echoes are better than they were before.
"Be as loud as you can. Hopefully we have a lot of wonderful memories here.
"I'm not too interested in atmosphere before the game. Everyone will come here and take their photos and things like this but I would like to ask for a bit of support.
"If someone is coming to give their best performance, I can ask the players to do the same.
"We do not expect them to come and celebrate themselves. We want to inspire our fans with that kind of play.
"It is against the current champions and they are still good. Let's try and make the first step in our future. Coming back tomorrow and starting the season now after the first international break is a big step.
"We have to use the power of the club and our supporters and if we do this every week it will work."