While he wouldn’t address questions about Christian Benteke, with the striker not officially a Liverpool player just yet, Brendan Rodgers was more than happy to talk about the club’s other new signings following the team’s arrival in Kuala Lumpur for the final stop of their pre-season tour.
Admitting up front that 2014-15 was a disappointment, Rodgers insisted the players signed so far have the right quality—and the right mentality—to help turn things around for the club. So far, at least, the new signings have looked promising, albeit with all the usual disclaimers about it being pre-season applying.
"Last season was a disappointment," said Rodgers. "We needed to make sure with our summer signings that we brought in the kind of quality that would help us improve and we’ve done that. The mentality of the players we signed was very important, and I’m happy with those we’ve brought in.
"We had to bring in quality and players who had real ambition and I believe we have done just that. I’ve got an inherent belief in the players we have brought in, that they can help us to push on this year. We’re very hopeful we can go on to be competitive this season and challenge on multiple fronts."
A competitive side that can be competitive in all competitions—and likely one that will need to find a piece of silverware in at least one of them—while making it back into the top four seems the minimum for Rodgers and Liverpool this season, and certainly the manager has got the support he wanted.
Despite the struggles of last season, Rodgers has been given money to spend and the freedom to spend it on his targets. He has been given, if anything, more control. These are his new signings, and while he’s clearly happy about that, it means even more pressure on him to make it work.
"I’m only interested in talking about players that I currently have here," he added when pressed again on the issue of other new signings. "Not about players coming in or going out. With half a new team coming in, we want to keep improving the dynamic and cohesion of the team."