Liverpool's rapid progress across last season has produced a series of knock-on effects according to goalkeeper Brad Jones, who knows that the challenge now is to build on those foundations.

A brand of hugely entertaining and clinical football carried the Reds to the brink of a long-awaited Barclays Premier League title in May, losing out only on the final day to Manchester City.

Since the campaign concluded, Brendan Rodgers has strengthened his squad options with four new signings ahead of another domestic quest and a return to the Champions League.

Speaking from Chicago, the latest stage on the club's summer tour of America following a week in Boston, Jones acknowledged that the players must reach raised expectations.

"Last season, the way that we played and the results that we were getting, people started to realise that we are a big force within the league," the Australian said.

"We dealt with that. It's up to us now to build on it. All the boys are excited after last season. The new boys coming in saw from afar what we were doing and it was probably a big help for the club to be able to sign them and made them desperately want to come here.

"That will only provide more ammunition for the boys to want to go out and show everyone what we can do."

Jones and a number of his Anfield colleagues are three weeks into their pre-season preparations, with a strong 'keeping contingent on duty in the United States.

Pepe Reina and Danny Ward were members of the original travelling party across the Atlantic, while Simon Mignolet has today swelled the ranks after World Cup duty with Belgium.

With regards to any battle to be Rodgers' first-choice stopper, though, Jones insisted his personal focus is purely on hitting maximum levels of fitness and performance for himself.

He continued: "I'm just focusing on getting fit and making sure I'm ready myself. We're all pushing for the same spot, so it doesn't change an awful lot having Pepe back.

"He was part of the club last season, even though he was on loan - he was still contracted to us. It's just a case of doing our job as best we can, getting fit and then what happens will happen.

"We worked hard last season, the same as we are now. The first game of the Premier League is what you want to be ready for.

"The fact that we'll have more games means the club have built on what we had last season in terms of the playing squad.

"We've certainly got a lot of quality coming in and a few more bodies - that should help us and hold us in good stead. Everyone is trying to get fit and be ready for the first game."

The Reds were afforded a typically passionate welcome upon touching down in Chicago, prompting local reporters to quiz the 'keeper about these journeys around the world.

"We've experienced it in a fair few countries in the past few seasons," commented Jones, who joined Liverpool in 2010.

"It's something that doesn't grow old; it's nice to arrive somewhere and see how big the club's fan base is and how important the club is to everyone.

"It makes everything that bit more special and makes you realise just how big the club is and how much it means to everyone. It gives you a boost to want to go out and perform well.

"Having been in Boston previously, it was good to come back to a familiar setting. We were well looked after in terms of the training venue and hotel.

"That was good - the boys really enjoyed it last time and it has been the same again. There was a lot of hard work and a lot of tired legs.

"We've only just arrived in Chicago so we've not seen too much. But it's good to come and experience different things; stadiums like this make pre-season games that bit more enjoyable.

"It's something that the players look forward to and creates big games in pre-season, which some clubs don't get to experience. We're quite lucky that we get to come and play these games."