James Milner declared himself satisfied with his match fitness as he looked to take the positives after Liverpool suffered a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in their International Champions Cup opener.

Gary Cahill's early header proved the difference between the sides in a hard-fought fixture at the Rose Bowl but, when speaking to Liverpoolfc.com after the match, the Reds' No.7 was already thinking ahead to making improvements.

Milner believes that he and his teammates are now well positioned to take big strides on the training pitch in the coming days thanks to Jürgen Klopp finally having a full squad at his disposal.

"The result's not really important in pre-season," the midfielder declared.

"It's about fitness first and foremost, getting the match practice in and putting things into the game that we've been working on in training.

"I can only speak for myself [but] I felt pretty good. I only played half an hour but I felt okay, so that's pleasing.

"I've been working hard in training and the rest of the boys have been [back] longer so they should be getting there as well.

"Everyone's back now, Emre [Can]'s joined us again, so it's nice to have a full contingent so we can get working an move forward."

Cesc Fabregas' second-half red card came as little surprise in what was at times an ill-tempered meeting between two domestic rivals - despite the 'friendly' tag.

But Milner saw little harm in the full-blooded nature of the affair, and even offered up a degree of mitigation.

"I think it shows both teams wanted to win and there's that competitive edge there," he added.

"So even though the result isn't that important, we wanted to win and [put in] 100 per cent tackles - both teams were the same.

"I don't think the pitch helped with the tackles, it was a bit dry at times and the ball got caught up in your feet so that might have added to it."