(Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp expects to be dealing with some angry players next season as he makes hard selection decisions amid increased competition for places.
The Merseyside club have held on to their key players from last season, including Brazilian Philippe Coutinho, and have bolstered their squad with the addition of winger Mohamed Salah, defender Andy Robertson and striker Dominic Solanke.
Competition is likely to be particularly rife in attack where Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi will all be competing for the central striker’s role.
As the battle for regular starting spots intensifies, Klopp has urged excluded players to remain confident and fight for their place.
“We want to build on the same base as last year. I‘m not in any doubt about that. Everybody thought: ‘He’s going, he’s going, he’s going’ but so far nobody is going,” Klopp told British media.
”If we stay together like this there will be a few hard decisions because they can’t start all together. Then we have to see how this works.
“Be angry at me no problem but stay confident. That is important. Three days later there is another game so be there again. There will be a lot of challenges.”
Klopp, whose side were drawn against German outfit Hoffenheim on Friday for their Champions League playoff, says that the club’s new signings will push players to raise their game.
“The plan is that they all make the next step,” Klopp said.
”I said we always want to develop this team and there are two things to do – signings and training so we did both.
“The signings are nice, either they play or they push another player. Now it’s more difficult to play all the time.”
Liverpool open their league campaign against Watford on Aug. 12 and will face the first leg of their playoff against Hoffenheim on either Aug. 15 or 16.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis