(Reuters) - Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is aiming to improve on his impressive performance last season and says that the Premier League club’s players are high on confidence after returning to pre-season training.
Brazil international Coutinho was involved in 20 league goals last season, scoring 13 and providing seven assists to guide Juergen Klopp’s side to a fourth-placed finish and sealed a spot in the UEFA Champions League after two years.
”I am working; every day I try to improve and I hope this season I can do even better than the last season,“ the 25-year-old told the club’s website (www.liverpoolfc.com). ”I am always aiming to improve.
”It was a good season. Of course, we wanted to win something, but we are ready here to start again to do everything to have a better season.
“Everyone has big confidence and this is the key for the players. I am confident – I think everyone is.”
Klopp said his players were in good shape and were focused on regaining match fitness and intensity as they prepare for their first pre-season game against non-league side Tranmere Rovers later on Wednesday.
”It’s been good,“ Klopp said. ”Since today we’ve had a nice and big training group, and of course that’s not the final squad – that’s clear – but all good so far.
”The testing was good and the boys came back really fit, they did what they had to do and I like this ... They really came back in good shape, so we started from a good point.
“Adapting to this intensity again is always a challenge for all of us, but it’s worked out well so far. Now we have the first game and that’s a nice thing because it’s why we all do it – to play the games at some point.”
Liverpool play third tier side Wigan Athletic on Friday before travelling to Hong Kong to compete in the Premier League Asia Trophy, which they will begin by facing league rivals Crystal Palace on July 19.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge