LFC return to pre-season training to begin four week countdown

It may not be the typical pre-season - there will be no international tour games this summer but there was some familiarity as pre-season training got underway yesterday.

The sumptious mountain backdrops are a typical scene under Klopp's reign - as are the trips on bicycles from the hotel to the training complex.  This summer Austria is the tranquil host to the reds.

Liverpool's players will no doubt have spent their first evening back together with the unusual entertainment of watching the Champions League Quarter Finals - Man City knocked out by Lyon this time around.

LFC also have a peculiarly placed Community Shield game in two weeks time, but the real focus will be on the start of the Premier League season in just under four weeks.

Full fixtures are expected to be released this week although according to the often wrong rumours the reds are set to start away at West Ham United.

Another difference with previous years is that practically all of the squad are there from day zero.  No international tournaments this summer has meant that Liverpool's coaches are better able to focus on the full squad rather than a whole host of specific training plans with players returning at different times and different levels of fitness.

Marko Grujic and Rhian Brewster are two names back involved in the squad, as well as new signing Kostas Tsimikas.  Loris Karius is also back in the fold, temporarily at least.

Grujic's two year loan spell in the Bundesliga has seen him feature 54 times and score 9 goals.  They finished solidly mid-table in Germany's highest division.  What does the 24 year olds future hold?

Similarly, Rhian Brewster enjoyed a positive spell at Swansea on loan.  Despite just being there for 6 months, he netted 11 goals in 22 games for the Championship club who he helped reach the play-offs, where they were sadly defeated by Brentford ending a quest for the Premier League.  A proven goalscorer in the Championship - at age 20 will he remain in Klopp's plans for this season or the future?

At the other end of the spectrum is James Milner.

Set to embark on an incredible 19th season in the Premier League - and with his home town of Leeds also returning to the division.

He is under no illusions that Liverpool must not stand still in their progress - they must keep moving forward despite a remarkable past 24 months.

"This is the start again of an even tougher season. I think how good we've been over the last two seasons has been incredible, but if we stay at that same level it won't be good enough.

"Everyone else is pushing, everyone is improving and we have a target on our backs and they're going to want to knock us off the top. So it's down to us to keep improving, keep pushing.

"You see the mentality of the squad and the hunger and the togetherness, I don't think that'll be a problem. But it's down to us to prove that.

The reds are expected to set up some behind closed door friendlies at the beginning of September but these are not yet confirmed.

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LFC return to pre-season training to begin four week countdown

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