Georginio Wijnaldum feels he has seen enough from pre-season already to hold confidence Liverpool can head into the new campaign full of optimism.
The Netherlands midfielder believes the Reds will reap the benefits from their gruelling work in readiness for 2017-18, which will take another step up next week when they travel to Germany for a training camp.
Furthermore, Wijnaldum is certain the size quality of the squad Jürgen Klopp has at his disposal will prove beneficial with the additional games being in European competition will bring.
“It’s going well,” he told Liverpoolfc.com after Friday’s session in Hong Kong. “The training is really hard, but it always is in pre-season. The new players are settling in really quick to the team and it’s going really well.
“The team is playing well, everyone is fit except Sadio but that injury was from last season, so it’s a good start.
“I think in pre-season every game is a test for us because you play against difficult opponents. We have to make sure we play good games and learn from them so we can have a good start to the season.”
Liverpool have added Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke to their ranks over the course of the summer so far and although competition for places in all positions is fierce, Wijnaldum believes that will only prove to be a positive in the quest for success.
He explained: “I already felt we had a strong squad last season, but in a couple of moments, we had a lot of injuries and so it was difficult to rotate, with a lot of players having to play more than they’re used to playing and we had to use young players.
“This season, so far everyone is fit and it’s good for the team and the manager because he has a lot more choice.
“It has to be intense at a club like Liverpool – a big club, a top club. We have a squad with a lot of good players and I think that’s a normal thing.
“We have to have a big squad with good players because we play a lot of games though the season and in some situations you have to rotate to give some players a rest, so that’s not possible if you have a small squad. Having a big squad is a good thing.”
Despite his sanguine expectations for the season ahead, Wijnaldum is aware that improvement remains as imperative as ever, with Liverpool looking to build upon progress in 2016-17.
He said: “Of course, you have targets for the team – to defend better, to concede less goals. Also we will work on the things we did well to become a better team.
“The manager is always busy with making things better, even when things are going well. It’s not something different.”
On personal note, Wijnaldum is pleased with his physical condition after almost three weeks of pre-season work.
The No.5 has figured in all three of Liverpool’s fixtures so far and stated: “I am ready. I am feeling fit and I am ready to go.
“It is difficult in pre-season because you do a lot of running and the training is hard – harder than you’re used to – but I have come through it and I think I am fit.”