There is no ambiguity to Jordon Ibe's pre-season targets with Liverpool this summer – the 18-year-old is seeking more minutes to impress manager Brendan Rodgers.

The young winger's searing acceleration and dribbling speed were evident 12 months ago, when he played regularly and impressively in the Reds' friendly matches.

Just two first-team appearances followed during 2013-14, although his experience was bolstered by a loan spell at Championship level with Birmingham City.

Ibe caught the eye in a post-season friendly against Shamrock Rovers in May, however, providing a constant menace to the opposition in Dublin.

Now back at Melwood as Rodgers oversees the initial stages of preparation for the new campaign, the No.33 was focused on one aim for the coming weeks and months.

"For me personally, I'm trying to get into the first team and hopefully get minutes," he told from the training ground. "I'll try to do well in pre-season first and see how it goes.

"I'm still quite young, I'm only 18, so I need to stay grounded, watch the senior players in my position, keep working hard and hopefully I can do well this season.

"I thought I did well in the last game [against Shamrock] and other youngsters did well. It's just about working hard in pre-season and most of all impressing in pre-season and on tour.

"The manager's message was just to take it into the new season. And especially to try to get more goals; working on my finishing is the most important thing."


The returning squad to West Derby have been treated to glorious sunshine as they navigate the condition tests, intensive drills and exercises organised by the boss.

Jose Enrique reported earlier this week that the atmosphere at Melwood is 'amazing' and Ibe concurred, describing an enjoyable mix of hard work and humour.

As the first week of sessions drew to a close, the England youth international commented: "It has been OK, it has been quite intensive but I've enjoyed it.

"It's quite tough but it's really important for us to stay fit during the time off so I don't look out of shape when we come back. I've found it OK and I'm enjoying training so far.

"Everyone has been laughing and making jokes; it has been great to be back for the first week. I'm enjoying it and I'm sure all of the other players are as well.

"It's very important, especially for the youngsters and the players who are not starting every week, to get into the manager's mind and be sharp as soon as we're back, ready for pre-season and going to America."

Born exactly one year after Anfield colleague Raheem Sterling, Ibe naturally follows his older teammate's progress, including a stellar showing at the World Cup last month.

The former Wycombe Wanderers starlet added: "He's only a year older than me so I need to follow in his footsteps, and watch all of the other attacking players. He's done well and scored a lot of goals.

"He's working hard all the time in training and impressing the manager. Because he's young, players are helping him, so hopefully they can do the same for me."