Becoming reacquainted with the ball in a match situation is an exciting prospect for Dejan Lovren ahead of Liverpool’s pre-season friendlies against Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic.
Tonight’s game at Prenton Park - which you can watch live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO - marks the beginning of a four-and-a-half week period that includes eight non-competitive fixtures prior to the Reds’ Premier League opener at Watford on August 12.
And Lovren, who reported back to Melwood last Saturday, is looking forward to returning to action following the summer break.
“It’s always good to play in the beginning against ‘smaller’ teams, just to [get a] feel of the ball, to feel the team, [see] how we react in some situations and how we breathe like a team,” the centre-back told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We did it quite well last season, we had a couple of really quite good games, but then it depends on every one of us so hopefully we’ll do [well] again. The most important thing is to not get injured.”
Jürgen Klopp’s side required a late Danny Ings winner to defeat Tranmere 1-0 when the teams met at the same time last year so Lovren, who featured for 45 minutes in that match, is expecting another tricky contest this time around.
“It’s never easy, I think, in England, especially against ‘smaller’ teams [as] they want to prove to everyone else that they can compete against Liverpool and that’s fair enough,” he said.
“But then, the quality depends on us, and like I said last year we did quite well.”
Friday's friendly against Wigan, which will also be shown live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO, is next on the Reds’ agenda before they fly out to Hong Kong at the weekend ahead of the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Liverpool also visited the DW Stadium 12 months ago, winning 2-0, and Lovren is a fan of playing friendlies in the local area, as well as overseas.
“I would say it’s good to be here, we have a lot of supporters here around Liverpool, not just in Liverpool, so I think the fans and other supporters enjoy coming to watch us and it’s always good to play in front of full stadiums in pre-season,” the Croatia international explained.
Discussing his pre-season so far, Lovren is relishing being back at Melwood as Klopp’s squad prepare for a campaign that will include European football as well as their domestic commitments.
“It’s great [to be back], to be honest, I missed this place a lot. It’s great to be back with the lads and to have a chat. It’s great to work again and hopefully everyone will be fit,” he continued.
“[Pre-season training is] enjoyable because you’re not alone, you’re working hard with your teammates, but also at the same time it’s quite hard physically. But it’s important to be fit and to be ready for a long season.”
LFCTV and LFCTV GO are the only places you can watch all eight of Liverpool's pre-season friendlies. For more information and details on how to sign up for either service, click here.