Liverpool's Dejan Lovren on importance of pre-season for him personally

Lovren signed for £20 million from Southampton last summer but didn't have the easiest of debut seasons at Anfield.

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has been speaking to the club's official website of the importance of getting a full pre-season with the Reds under his belt after his first season at the club.

Lovren was signed for £20 million last summer from Southampton but joined the Reds after their pre-season tour of the U.S, and made his bow in a Liverpool shirt in their final pre-season friendly of the summer during a 4-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at Anfield - where he marked the game with a goal.

But he struggled from then on as he had the pressure of being the leader at the back as Brendan Rodgers looked to tighten up an incredibly leaky defence.

There were the odd good performances from Lovren but over the course of the season, he was seen as incredibly error-prone and lost his place during the midway point of the season, and was in and out of the side during the second half of the season. 

The Croatia international sees between now and the start of the Premier League season as crucial for him, saying to Liverpool's website: "For me it's important because I didn't have a pre-season here last year when I came to Liverpool. It's important for me to have a full one, give 100% and be fit enough for the first game.

"I think it affected me last year. When you are with a team for a month in pre-season and you train with them, it's not the same as when you arrive in the last seven days [of pre-season] and then you play the next game. It was difficult for me, but this year is good for me and we're doing everything well here.

"When I have a good pre-season, I feel I will have a good season. I can't wait to start."

Liverpool fans will certainly hope that is the case because last season he failed to demonstrate the leadership qualities and composure that show him capable of being the man to help tighten up an exposed defence.

Martin Skrtel looks as though he will be the main central defender at the club and in line to start every game, meaning that Mamadou Sakho will fight it out with Lovren.

The one thing the Frenchman seems to struggle with is injuries which will lead to Lovren getting his opportunities, but Liverpool's record with Sakho in the side last season was markedly better than when he was absent.

Lovren seems to have a big fight on his hands but this pre-season could be a turning point in his Anfield career if he has a good one. 

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