‘We have to step up’: Klopp demands early start to Liverpool’s pre-season

  • Manager wants to maximise time with squad after poor term
  • Last summer’s friendlies in far east not ‘perfect’ preparation

Liverpool will start pre-season training as early as possible because of the need to “step up” on this term’s efforts, Jürgen Klopp has announced.

The Liverpool manager wants to give his players a minimum of three weeks’ holiday after a season extended by the World Cup. Klopp is also keen to avoid a repeat of last summer when, after the exertions of the quadruple-chasing campaign, Liverpool began pre-season with two matches in Thailand and Singapore.

Klopp refuses to blame the preparations for Liverpool’s underwhelming campaign but, in an attempt to avoid a repeat, intends to maximise training time before the season opens on 12 August.

Before the game at West Ham on Wednesday he said: “It was never a perfect pre-season but that is not the reason for our season now because we had similar pre-seasons before that. But this year must be different. So now we already have four or five weeks without international football. Usually you play all the time. We play a lot now but I have no clue where they would have put in the Champions League games [had Liverpool been involved].

“But it’s different and that’s why we have to step up. We have to prepare that in the pre-season and that’s why I want them back together as quick as somehow possible, respecting the necessity of holidays. I know that and I respect that and I want them to go on holiday for as long as possible but for this year we have to make sure we are together as soon as possible and can go from there.”

International commitments will ensure many players do not get a break until late June. The Nations League finals take place in the Netherlands until 18 June and England’s final European Championship qualifier of the season is on 19 June against North Macedonia.

Klopp said: “Three weeks off at least are possible. After that we want to start together, although that might not be exactly possible. We start back on the 8th [July] and for the other [international] boys it will be the 11th.

“Before the internationals they all have a few days off then they go to camps before they play. But the players have to negotiate that with their nations – whether they go to a full camp or half a camp or whatever. Now they just say the day after the season ends you go on a camp to prepare for what’s coming up. It’s crazy but our hands are tied. We cannot say anything about that.

“So that is why next season stands above everything. We will have three or four days here for the testing and then we go on a training camp to Germany. We can work there properly with the whole squad and that is exactly what we need.”

The defender Ibrahima Konaté is a slight injury doubt for the West Ham game.


Andy Hunter

The GuardianTramp

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