Jurgen Klopp accepts there will be pressure on him to win a first trophy with Liverpool this season.
The German will celebrate his third anniversary as manager in October and, although he has brought plenty of excitement to Anfield, so far he has not managed to add any silverware.
Liverpool have lost in three finals under Klopp — the League Cup and Europa League in his first campaign and the Champions League last season — while finishing eighth, fourth, and fourth in the Premier League.
Klopp said: “People will say that. It is the next step and we need to be ready for that. I cannot give guarantees here but I understand if people think that. I know about the expectations and that is completely normal.
“First of all we have to play the football that gives us an opportunity to win something. We cannot talk about winning something before we start the season.
“I am confident we can build on last season. It’s not that we lost things completely but you have to work on it to get it back. The football the boys played last year was not easy. There was a lot of work invested into playing like that. That’s what we will do again. I am not in doubt about our basis or that we will reach it again.
“Other teams, of course, will do transfer business as well. They will not be weaker than last year. City brought in (Riyad) Mahrez. I did not hear that they lost one player so far. So it means the quality of last year plus Mahrez. That’s a nice plan as well. United will go for it, too, and that’s completely normal.
We expect more from ourselves. We will go again for the championship and each kind of cup but that does not mean I can sit here and we will get it. We have the highest ambitions, 100%.
Klopp has been working hard to integrate new arrivals Naby Keita and Fabinho into the squad, with Xherdan Shaqiri yet to join up with his new teammates following his World Cup exploits.
A number of other key names are also still missing, and Klopp said: “I want to have the best start ever but we all know something can happen and it is all questioned in a second.
“I am in the third season and each season we have a period where a few people questioned me or our progress and all that stuff and in the end it was OK. I am prepared for these moments. I don’t want to have them but I will not go nuts and think we have lost everything.
“The new players will make us stronger 100%. But it will not happen in the first day. It is all about staying calm, looking at the situation, judging it right, and then make the step.”
Liverpool won three of their four matches against Manchester City last season, including both legs of their Champions League quarter-final, but finished 25 points behind them in the league.
Klopp believes consistency is the answer to closing the gap, saying: “It is not just that we have to be more consistent, we have to create circumstances where we can be more consistent. Nobody is consistent with 11 players. What we are working on is the depth of the squad.”
Meanwhile, Mo Salah has posted a message of support to his Liverpool teammate Loris Karius on social media, urging the goalkeeper to “ignore those who hate”.
The Reds’ 3-1 friendly loss to Borussia Dortmund in Charlotte on Sunday saw the Bundesliga side score their final goal when Karius could only parry a Christian Pulisic shot before Jacob Bruun Larsen tapped in.
Karius was at fault for two of Real Madrid’s goals when Liverpool were beaten 3-1 in May’s Champions League final, after which it was revealed the 25-year-old German was suffering from concussion.
He also spilled a free-kick, allowing the hosts to score, in Liverpool’s friendly against Tranmere at Prenton Park earlier this month.
Following the game against Dortmund, forward Salah wrote on Twitter: “Stay strong Karius, it has happened to the best of players. Ignore those who hate.@LorisKarius.”
Karius himself had posted a message via an Instagram story after the match which read: “To those who take joy in seeing other people fail or suffer, I feel for you.
Whatever it is that’s happening in your life to hold this much anger and hate, I pray that it passes and good things come to you.
Liverpool last week paid the highest fee for a goalkeeper in history to sign Alisson from Roma in a deal worth up to £65m (€73m).
Karius reportedly said after the Dortmund match: “Of course that’s not perfect for me, but I cannot say much more about that. I do not know that (whether he will leave before the transfer deadline). I cannot say what I’m doing right now, there’s still some time left.”