Milner: Pre-season crucial for Liverpool

Liverpool midfielder James Milner has emphasised the importance of  a good pre-season as the Reds prepare for their all-important Champions League qualifier.

After finishing fourth in the Premier League last season, Liverpool will need to win a qualifier in August to secure their place in the competition proper.

Milner believes a positive pre-season will go a long way towards ensuring that Liverpool hit their targets early next season.

“The off-season is always a funny one – you enjoy yourself and relax but you’ve always got one eye on pre-season and making sure you’re right and ready to go again,” he told the club's official website.

“Obviously it’s a big start to the season for us.

“Pre-season is always tough, nobody particularly enjoys it. But with the tours and the [Champions League] qualifier, we want to hit the ground running and start the season well. So it’s important you’re ready to go.”

On the qualifier, he added: “It’s not easy to get into the qualifiers even – top four in the Premier League is tough.

“We’ve done part of the job but we have to finish that now. It would be disappointing not to make it after all the hard work we did last year. I’m sure we will."