Scottish player, Andy Robertson, who plays as a left-back for Premier League club Liverpool, spoke of the club’s determination to lift silverware in 2022-23 and explained how vital this pre-season will be in fulfilling that objective.
The reigning Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup holders are in Singapore for the second leg of their tour of Asia, where they will face Crystal Palace on Friday.
Robertson and his teammates have been putting in the hard yards in sweltering temperatures in Bangkok and now Singapore, as Jürgen Klopp’s side look to lay the foundations in forcing more changes to the club’s Champions Wall.
The left-back attended a press conference with Klopp on Thursday to preview the Palace friendly.
On what it’s been like training with Darwin Nunez and whether anything has stood out so far…
He’s tall! But, look, he has obviously come in, we haven’t been back for too long, but we have to let him settle in. He’s looked good in training, and the Brazilian boys and everyone that speaks his language have helped him a lot. I don’t think me and him have had many conversations yet, we’ve just kind of smiled at each other, but that will come. A fantastic player, we played against him and he made it really difficult for us defenders in the two games and if he puts in those performances then he’ll be a really good player for us.
On the camaraderie built up in the squad during a pre-season.
We’re obviously in a hotel and we basically live together over this time, so we spend a lot of time together – a lot of time with coaches, a lot of time with all the staff.
This is where the foundations for the start of the season start. This is where the hard work gets put in, where we try to find our fitness and our form again and we start laying out what we want to do during the season.
These camps are so important. When we go to Austria it will be just as important as well. The running and amount of training we do gets us to where we need to be for the first game of the season.
Ours is obviously a bit quicker than everyone else’s with the Community Shield coming up but we will be ready. We didn’t have that long off, especially the international boys, but we had good enough time to switch off mentally, physically and our bodies are feeling good. It’s just about getting up to speed now and I’m sure we will be come the first game of the season.
On whether he still finds it surreal the amount of fans that turn up wherever the team travels.
I think the day you sign for Liverpool, you know you play for a big club. But when you come to these places, it just reminds you just how big the club actually is. You come to countries like this and the fans are so welcoming of you as if you are their heroes.
They are waiting outside the hotel, coming into the stadium, everywhere you go. They just want a glimpse of you. We appreciate it massively. The fans all around the world are so important to us, not just the ones who get in Anfield every single week. It’s so important that we give back to the fans – small things like open training today and playing matches over the other side of the world effectively.
It’s nice to give them that back because their support is always appreciated. I know they get up sometimes at silly times to watch our games with time difference and things like that. Look, it’s incredible the support we’ve received on this tour and I’m sure most countries we go to we get that. But it’s been special, it’s been really nice to see and we don’t take it for granted.
On expectations of competing for four trophies again this season.
I think, again, when you play with this club there’s always expectations on you, it’s what we have to deal with. We’ve always had to do that. We have expectations of ourselves. We want to be the best versions individually and the best versions as a team. I think last season in large parts we showed that. Obviously the end of the season didn’t go the way we wanted it to but I think after time we can look back on it [with] a lot of fond memories from last season and it also drives us forward for next season.
We want the feeling of lifting trophies. We had it twice last season and two really good days out at Wembley and we want that feeling again. We know it takes a lot of hard work, we know it takes a lot of determination and everyone singing off the same hymn sheet effectively. If we do that, then we believe we are there or thereabouts because we’ve got a fantastic team when we’re at our best. But we know as soon as we drop below that then we won’t achieve what we want to achieve. That’s what the plan is – to go for everything 100 per cent, like we’ve always done. If we do that, we believe that gives us the best possible chance to be successful.
On the humidity in Asia.
It’s made training a little trickier, especially the tougher sessions, but it’s something that’s part and parcel of football. When you come over to these countries where it’s different weather and being from Scotland, we’re not used to that – I’m very used to the rain, not quite the humidity! But it’s a heatwave back in the UK just now, so hopefully when we get back there’s a little bit of rain and a little bit cooler – it certainly makes it easier for training.
But it’s all part and parcel – training at different times, training in the dark, things like that. But it’s warm all year round here, I think, and we’ve adapted well and it will only help us. Training in that kind of heat will get us fitter quicker.