Liverpool began their preparations for 2015-16 on Monday, and with the first match of pre-season coming up next week against a Thai All Star XI in Bangkok and the season kicking off in a month, there isn’t long to go before the Reds are back in action. For Adam Lallana, expectations are high heading into his second season at the club, but he thinks that with a solid pre-season he can hit the ground running.
"I missed pre-season last season with injury and I was disappointed to get off to a slow start," said the midfielder. "I’m back raring to go now and it was quite a short summer because of the England games we had. I was stop-start probably three or four times throughout the season, which any player will tell you doesn't help. Hopefully I can get a good base under my belt this pre-season and when we tour and start the season firing."
He’s also excited about some of the new signings. James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne are two players he’s worked with before, and both are in pre-season training along with the other Liverpool players not involved in any of the summer’s major international tournaments. Danny Ings, meanwhile, is returning to training early in order to make sure he’s fit and ready to take part that first pre-season match next Tuesday.
"James has won the Premier League with Manchester City and I've played with him for a couple of years now on the international scene and he's a very talented player who will bring a lot to the club," said Lallana. "Same with Danny Ings. I played against him twice last year and thought on both afternoons he played very well. He might be more for the future as well, he's only young, and I'm sure he'll come here wanting to improve.
"[Clyne is] a very good defender. There's not many players I see get by him, take him down the outside. For me, in training, I'd never want to be playing against him. He's very aggressive and he's even added goals to his game. He obviously scored here at Anfield the first game of last year. I'm sure the fans have had brief moments they've watched him play, especially for England, he came on the scene last season and has done very well."
Next Tuesday’s match against the Thai All Stars XI kicks off at 2PM GMT/9AM EST, following which the players will head to Australia for games against Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United before flying north again to face a Malaysia XI. Pre-season wraps up on August 1st when they return to Europe to face HJK Helsinki, but after his experience on tour with the club last summer, it’s the Asian stops that have Lallana most excited.
"I experienced it over in America last year but the lads have said it's completely different where we're going this summer so I'm really looking forward to it," he added. "I’ve never been to Bangkok before or Adelaide or Brisbane, so I'm looking forward to seeing the atmosphere and the welcome and how much Liverpool is supported."
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