Dejan Lovren concedes he is yet to recapture full fitness since returning to first team training at Liverpool. The 27-year-old did not represent his country Croatia at the European Championships and has had the summer off to recover from the rigours of last term.
But nevertheless the Reds centre-back admits to be feeling jaded since beginning pre-season training on 2 July. Lovren has featured in both of the pre-season wins over Tranmere Rovers and Fleetwood Town but says he had plenty of work to do between now and the start of the campaign.
"I am ready to start the engine again," he told the official Liverpool website. "I'm feeling a little bit tired at the beginning [of pre-season], which is normal after a break. But it's a good point to be here again and working hard.
"We didn't have two days off in the middle of [last] season because we had a game every three or four days and we had a lot of injured players, so you couldn't change some players that you needed to change.
"It was quite tough. But you are here to work and give everything for the club. It would have been much better if we could have finished the season with a win in the final. I still regret it."
Liverpool's Premier League season begins against Arsenal on 14 August as Jurgen Klopp embarks on his first full campaign at the helm at Anfield. The task of finishing in the top four and returning to the Champions League will this year be assisted by the club not playing in Europe.
Defeat in the Europa League final to Sevilla in Basel meant that an otherwise encouraging term for Liverpool was overshadowed by a harrowing defeat, after Daniel Sturridge had put them ahead before half time. Lovren says the squad has an appetite to make amends for the loss having had the whole summer to consider their failure.
"I hope we will have other finals in our career," said Lovren. "We need to use this one so that we will never repeat it again. I regret it and feel we didn't play 100% in the game. Two or three games before, we did the same with all our heart and won against the big teams. It's definitely a disappointment for all of us – for us and the fans. But it's a learning process for us and the coach. It's normal, it's football – it's never perfect. We will definitely use it for next time."