Adam Lallana believes he will reap the benefits of a full pre-season programme as he aims to fulfil Jordan Henderson’s expectation of ‘big, big things’ in 2015-16.

The 27-year-old arrived at Liverpool from Southampton last summer, but had his preparations for the campaign cut short by injury.

However, one year on, Lallana admits he feels primed to make his mark at Anfield having not missed a single training session since returning to Melwood in July.

He told “Physically I am in great shape at the moment - and I've not missed a training session or a game to date.

“So I'm massively feeling the benefits of that and I'm looking forward to the season and to really get going.

“It was a great result for us at the weekend and we need to back it up with another win on Monday night against Bournemouth.”

Lallana impressed for Liverpool throughout their pre-season programme, helping himself to a couple of goals during the club’s four-game tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia.

As a result, the England international was selected to start for the Reds in Sunday’s league opener at Stoke City.

This is stark contrast to one year ago when Lallana’s debut didn’t arrive until September 13.

“I’m sure any professional will tell you being on the treatment table is no good, especially when I’d just joined the club,” he reflects.

“You want to integrate with the lads a lot more and when you’re away from the group, it’s not as easy to do that.

“Anyone will tell you pre-season is an important stage for a professional footballer, where you work extra hard and put your body through a lot.

“But I feel we had a good pre-season and the benefits were there to see on Sunday. Different parts of our game that we’ve worked on in pre-season came out as well, and to get a clean sheet and a win at Stoke was a great result.”

During an exclusive interview with in July, newly-appointed club captain Henderson explained how he was expecting ‘big, big things’ from Lallana this season.

The No.20 laughs when this is put to him, but insists the skipper’s anticipation is not misplaced.

“I’ve not spoken to him about what he’s said! Jordan is a good mate of mine and I’ve read a few things he’s said [about me] – and he’s right,” said Lallana.

“I want to have a good season, do well and add more goals to my game. I feel if I stay fit and out on the pitch, that’s what I’ll do.

“I’ve set myself targets, but that’s personal to me. I’ll just be looking to contribute as much as I can towards the team and towards a successful Liverpool campaign.”

Lallana was deployed as part of a front four for Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium, working in tandem with Christian Benteke, Philippe Coutinho and Jordon Ibe.

The acquisition of seven new faces over the course of the summer, plus the arrival of Divock Origi following the conclusion of his Lille loan, means competition within the ranks is fierce.

Lallana sees that as only a positive as the Reds set aim on a successful campaign.

“That’s the good thing about competition for places – it keeps everyone on their toes and no-one is guaranteed a place in the team,” he explained.

“With all the games we could potentially have this season, it could be a 60-game season with the Europa League and hopefully good runs in both domestic cup competitions. We’re going to need the squad - and I feel as though we have a great one in place at the moment.”

Coutinho’s dramatic late strike sealed a 1-0 win at Stoke on Sunday: a result that Liverpool obtained by displaying a different side of their game. Brendan Rodgers' men were steely and rugged at the Britannia – qualities Lallana feels will be vital to improving on last season.

He said: “It was a fantastic result for us. It wasn’t the prettiest of football matches – but it was a lot prettier than the last game of last season for us!

“Maybe that’s a side of our game that hopefully you’ll see a bit more of this season and if it results in victories, then who is going to ask questions about it? Certainly not us.

“We were delighted with the result and the grittiness of the performance was very satisfying – and we got a clean sheet. It was a great start to the season.”

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