Last season, Liverpool surprised nearly everyone by jumping five places and 23 points in the final table. On the back of that result, expectations have risen this season, and a return to Europe will complicate matters in the best way possible. For midfielder Jordan Henderson, though, there's only one goal: take—and win—each game as it comes.
"To go as far as we can in every competition—Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup," was Henderson's response when asked what the goal was heading into the season for Liverpool after narrowly conceding the title to Manchester City last term. "We just want to do well in every single competition we're in."
With Liverpool already qualified for the Champions League group stages, the first real test will come on Sunday when they kick off the Premier League season against Southampton. And though it can be dangerous to read too much into pre-season results, Henderson believes yesterday's demolition of a highly regarded European side bodes well.
"I felt we played very well throughout the game," said Henderson of Sunday's 4-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund. "It was a good way to end pre-season and get ready for next week. Everybody is happy and hopefully we can continue that going into the game against Southampton. Most of our games in pre-season have been against top opposition, Champions League teams.
"Now we're ready for the real test next week. We're improving all the time. We continue to work hard and work on different things. We've got a young team that is developing very well and we've got a lot of experience despite being so young. Hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the season."
Dortmund were missing their newly appointed captain and vice-captain in Mats Hummels and Marco Reus, but the Bundesliga runners up still represented about as tough a test as any top side is likely to face in pre-season, and Liverpool passed with flying colours. Now comes the part that matters—and only six more days for the rest of us to wait through before it arrives.