Jurgen Klopp has urged his Liverpool side to “make the last step” after a productive pre-season that saw the Reds win seven, draw one and lose one.
With key names returning in form, new signings settling in well and fringe figures including Sturridge making their mark they can head into 2018/19 confident.
“Now we have to make the last step, we have to bring ourselves into the competition, in a championship mood, really being 100 percent focused in all the situations,” he told reporters.
“Obviously in the offensive department we are able to do some nice things but that’s only one part of the game.
“We have a few days [to prepare], I like that.
“But I’m happy we can start at the weekend because pre-season is good but the season is even better.”
“I’m happy that we came through the pre-season so far, so good,” he added.
“You saw tonight we don’t really struggle with centre-halves, they are all in and only have little things. But for tonight, the two available played.
“Nat Phillips played an outstanding pre-season and now he played the game tonight, 70-80 minutes at Anfield for the first team.
“It is really nice to see how he developed.”