Liverpool are into the third week of pre-season and have started to welcome back many of their internationals, the likes of Diogo Jota and Andy Robertson taking part in the final week of the club’s Austrian camp before the Reds move on to France and then return to England for the start of the 2021-22 season.
It’s a late return, but one that still gives those players three weeks of pre-season with their teammates—and, more importantly, it’s a late return that gave them an extended summer break after a difficult and draining 2020-21 season that took its toll on everyone involved.
“A lot got put into the last season,” Robertson noted. “Physically I felt it but emotionally as well, it was an up and down season. I was emotionally drained, I think, after the Euros, obviously I put everything into it and then for the way it ended, the next week I was pretty tired and just tried to relax.
“Luckily the manager gave me a bit of extra time off, which was appreciated. I got to spend some quality family time but more importantly let my body recover that wee bit more. I feel good, I feel fresh, I feel ready to go and ready for hopefully another big season ahead.”
Scotland played their final match of the Euros on June 22nd, meaning Robertson was able to take a full month off this summer—highly unusual for a player involved at a major summer tournament and a reflection on the importance the club have placed on giving their players as much rest as possible this year.
“The gaffer has been really good with the international boys in terms of us coming in a wee bit later and obviously some lads are still to show up,” Robertson added. “But the downside of it is that the boys have been in 10, 12 days and are really getting up to speed and you’re still trying to find your feet.
“I feel good, [but] obviously the match sharpness will need to come back in terms of on the ball and everything like that. The only way [of] doing that is training, the only way [of] doing that is getting through the tired legs and hopefully getting some minutes on the pitch as well.”
Liverpool face Hertha Berlin in Austria on Thursday before heading to Evian, France, where they face Bologna on August 5th before returning to England for friendlies against Athletic Club and Osasuna on the 8th and 9th. Their Premier League season then gets under way on August 14th at Norwich City.