Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp sets his sights high for next season
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that his side “will be stronger this year” as the Reds return to Melwood for pre-season training ahead of the 2017/18 term.
Klopp and a group of 22 players kicked off their preparations for the new campaign on Wednesday morning, with the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Mamadou Sakho all in attendance.
Liverpool finished fourth last season to secure their return to the Champions League after a two-year absence and have already set about strengthening their squad ahead of what will be a demanding fixture schedule.
The Reds have brought in Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke and continue to be linked with a number of players from the continent, including the highly-sought Naby Keita.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, an optimistic Klopp backed his squad to deliver in the coming season.
“The squad will be stronger this year than it was last year,” he said. “That’s a real reason for real optimism.”
He added: “We all know in a few weeks we have these qualifiers and there will be pressure on the game.
“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.”
Liverpool are due to play eight friendlies during their pre-season programme and will travel to the likes of Hong Kong, Germany and the Republic of Ireland in the weeks ahead.
Klopp added that the players in attendance on Wednesday morning were “ready to go” having enjoyed a “deserved” break following the conclusion of the 2016/17 season.
“It was a wonderful rest for all of us, absolutely deserved,” the German said.
“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.”