Jürgen Klopp described the 2020-21 season as a ‘wonderful opportunity’ for Liverpool as he vowed his team will fight with all they have to once again secure silverware.

The Reds kick off their defence of the Premier League title by welcoming newly-promoted Leeds United to Anfield this evening.

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However, Klopp has underscored the message that has emanated from within the camp ever since they returned to training in August, insisting the achievements that went before will count for nothing once the new term gets up and running.

Writing in his first edition of programme notes for the campaign, the manager explained: “I view this coming season as a wonderful opportunity. I’m sure there’ll be lots of talk about pressure and expectation, on us specifically. But so what! That’s not new, it’s been constant.

“It’s not about what other people think or want – it’s about what we want, and about what we are prepared to do about it!

“I look at my team and my staff and I see a group of people who are humble and ready. They embrace the culture of ‘let’s go again’.

“I use the word ‘opportunity’ because it’s critical. Everything is possible over the course of the next 38 Premier League matches, plus games in the domestic cups and Europe. Nothing will be given to us and we start with no advantage or headstart. Everyone is on the start line in exactly the same position. This suits us fine, perfect in fact. There is no pole position because of previous achievements. Again, perfect, this is ideal for our culture and our mentality.

“Look at our team and look at their stories. These are people who embrace the challenge. They have faced adversity and come through it. All their lives they have had hurdles in front of them. But until now, they have been pretty good at clearing them.

“It is not hard to find new energy each season when you have the professional culture our players have. They were and remain the mentality monsters. It is a myth that we have needed setbacks to find our energy and motivation in the past.

“Yes, striking back when suffering a knock was and will remain part of our make-up, I don’t deny this and I don’t want to lose it. We will 100 per cent need it – both during games and definitely during the season. The ability to get up off the canvas and keep punching is important. It comes from within this team and from deep within the fabric of this club.

“But ‘striking back’ is only part of it. The truth is we didn’t ‘need’ setbacks but we did ‘use’ them to our advantage. It is just about our situation. We react to it, whatever that situation is. We have had many different situations during our period together, a lot of them positive – most of them positive in fact. So we find energy in all places. This is what we do: identify the next challenge and go for it with all we have.

“The energy is there because we treat each day, each challenge, each session, each game as an opportunity. Something new to attack. Fresh and exciting. It’s never about keeping hold of something. Defending something?! That doesn’t work for us – that’s regressive. The only thing we defend is our goal. Everything else we attack!

“We are about forward momentum. Fresh energy, new energy. What can we achieve now? We take no energy by looking at previous league tables, no matter how recent! No energy from previous records set – pride and satisfaction maybe, but not new energy. Look at the league table before a ball is kicked in this year’s competition and that brings the motivation we need. It’s a blank canvas, a chance to paint something new and wonderful if we are minded to and, crucially, if we are prepared to work hard enough to do it.

“We will find energy in our work. Energy in our room for further improvement and further development. Of course it is going to be hard, really hard. Trust me when I tell you nobody understands this better than us as a coaching staff and as a team. But it’s always been hard.

“We are Liverpool and this is the Premier League. When was it easy – and who wants easy? We can have easy when our careers are over if we so wish.

“My players are fighters and warriors. They know they can achieve new memories only by giving all they have, individually and collectively, in each moment, by not looking back or too far ahead. Yes, we are about looking forward, but what’s right in front of you in the here and now is enough.

“Today, for all of us with a Liverpool heart, it is Leeds United. So for those who appear on the teamsheet today – and even those who don’t – there is work to do. Focus on Leeds and today and nothing else. And that is enough for us. Fighting to win this one game, today, is all the focus and energy we need right now. It is all we can affect.

“Of course, we will still be missing one energy source in the stadium – as will all clubs for the moment – and that is the supporters. But even though they are not in the seats where we can hear and see them, they are still watching, so we can feel them with us. That is enough for us to know we have a duty to perform and work harder for them.

“We can be here in this moment and they cannot, so we embrace that responsibility and hopefully show it through our performance.”

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