Kenny Dalglish admits there is still plenty of work to be done on the Melwood training ground in order to ensure that Liverpool are ready for the season-opener against Sunderland on August 13.

Pre-season has proved to be a mixed bag in terms of results for the Reds, who have shipped 15 goals in five friendly fixtures - the latest of which came in Monday night's 3-3 draw with Valerenga in Norway.

"We've got to start looking towards the (league) games," said Dalglish. "The important thing is we've got to be better when we don't have the ball.

"But the boys aren't shy of hard work. There's an educated week's training ahead."

Dirk Kuyt echoed the manager's belief that all the pre-season preparations come down to being ready for the first competitive game, but admitted that the uncharacteristically leaky defence is something that must be addressed by the players.


 

"We are letting in too many goals but the point is we have to defend like a team," he said. "That starts from the front and we need to improve.

"We know we have the ability and we just need to train really hard. We have another practice game on Saturday to put things right.

"I'm sure if we do that a little bit better in the next game then we will be ready for Sunderland.

"I'm not concerned as it's still pre-season. If we beat them in our first game then it's been a good pre-season for us."

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