In the end, Liverpool's draw against Tottenham on Saturday may not have made for a dream start to the Jürgen Klopp era at Anfield, but after too many lifeless performances over the past year it was at least good to see a Liverpool side again pressing energetically. They may not have won, but they at least appeared to believe they could.
It's not the end goal, but it's a step in the right direction, one the fans will hope to see more of over a a busy stretch that sees the club playing two games a week through to the November international break. And it's not just the fans who noticed the improved performance levels on Saturday. The players, too, came out of the match believing things had been different.
"You can see he's very enthusiastic, very ambitious," said goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who kept Tottenham off the score sheet with some strong saves and was Liverpool's man of the match on Saturday. "On the line you can see that, and it rubs off on the players. He is very positive, and he wants everyone to go full blast like he does, and the players can thrive on that."
Confidence and a high press were the most noticeable changes on Saturday, at least without the ball, and while confidence on the ball and patterns of play in possession will take some time, already the first signs of a foundation for how Liverpool will play under Klopp are there. After a year of looking aimless, Liverpool seem to be working towards an identity again.
"Every manager has his own style and tactics, and he worked hard to make sure we put them under pressure," added Mignolet. "He speaks with everybody and what is good is he gives people confidence. With just three days after the international break it is difficult to change things, but it was obvious what he wanted to do, to press high and make it difficult for them to play.
"We did what he wanted us to, tried to make it difficult for them to play football. Maybe with the ball we can be a bit better, and we had a chance in the first half when we hit the bar and it's unfortunate because if that goes in it's a different game, but there is time to improve and to keep a clean sheet away to Tottenham is a positive and we look forward to the next game."