(Reuters) – Manager Jurgen Klopp urged his Liverpool side to use the disappointment of missing out on the Premier League and Champions League last season as motivation to challenge for both trophies in the new campaign.
Liverpool won the League Cup and FA Cup last season, but were beaten 1-0 by Real Madrid in the Champions League final in May and lost the league title to Manchester City by one point.
“Both teams (Liverpool and City) play an incredibly high level and one thing makes the difference, like one goal in the Champions League final for instance,” Klopp told reporters ahead of Liverpool’s Community Shield game against Manchester City.
“That is part of the deal. That can happen at the end of the season with the points tally. It didn’t turn me crazy and it didn’t turn the players crazy either. Because it is part of the deal. We can use it to get even more determined.”
Liverpool’s game against City later on Saturday could also provide fans their first glimpse of the club’s new marquee signings, Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez, in a competitive fixture.
Both strikers have scored in pre-season, with Nunez netting four against RB Leipzig while Haaland scored for City against Bayern Munich, but Klopp tempered expectations, saying the forwards still needed time to adapt to their new teams.
“(City) have the same problem we have – they are not used to Erling’s natural runs, just as we are not used to Darwin’s natural runs yet,” Klopp said.
“When Darwin offers a run we give him the ball all the time, which is not helpful because often a guy who stretches the opponent is there to create space between the lines.
“I am pretty sure they will need time for Erling but that doesn’t mean he cannot score already like he did against Bayern.”
Liverpool begin their campaign with a trip Fulham on Aug. 6.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)