As Liverpool took to the pitch against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart on Tuesday evening, Jurgen Klopp had set up a competition that his players knew nothing about.
Pre-season games are often drab affairs, that sometimes take on the feel of a testimonial.
Players don’t want to get injured and the usual summer temperatures often takes the wind out of their sails long before the final whistle is sounded.
To that end, being asked to press as much as possible in their two 30 minute back-to-back games might have come as a bit of a shock, but Klopp had his reasons.
“It was a workout and it was good. Physically it was all that we wanted to see, we had to do it and it was an important test for tha,” he said after the match to LFC TV, cited by the Liverpool ECHO.
“From a football point of view, obviously a lot of space for improvement; I saw a lot of wild pressing.
“We wanted a wild press, we had a little competition between the two teams to see who wins the ball back more and how many counter-presses we have.
“We’ll have to think about the prize that the team will win!”
It’s clear that the German was pleased with a lot of what he saw, and if the only dilemma he has is how to reward his players for their efforts, then things are obviously going well.
Upping the intensity from here on in should see the Reds firing on all cylinders by the time the 2021/22 Premier League campaign begins.