Digital Football Journalist @ronnabe
Liverpool will be boosted by coming so close to Premier League title, says Ray Clemence
Last Updated: 18/07/19 11:54pm
Coming so close to the Premier League title will help Liverpool go one better this season, club legend Ray Clemence told Sky Sports.
Liverpool missed out on the title to Manchester City by a single point in 2018/19, but would have lifted the Premier League trophy with their 97-point haul in 25 of the 27 seasons since the league was formed in 1992.
As it was, City finished ahead of Jurgen Klopp's side by a solitary point, something Clemence, who won the First Division five times at Anfield during the 1970s and 80s, thinks they can use to their advantage coming into the new season - which they continue their preparation towards against Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup at 1am on Saturday.
"It helps, having got so close," he told Sky Sports. "If you look back three or four years, they were finishing 20 points off the league champions.
"Now they've got 97 points, lost one game all year, and it still hasn't been good enough. In any other league, that would win you the title.
"But they've got the confidence from knowing they can compete with Manchester City, and next year they need to make sure some of the points they dropped in draws, which they shouldn't have, they win. That's been the difference.
"They know they can compete with Manchester City. Coming so close will help."
Liverpool legend Ray Clemence
"I was lucky enough to be up there and win things year-on-year and that was in 42-game seasons, but I realised every season I was there that it's always a long season and you don't play well every game, no matter who you are or who you've got playing for you.
"There will be games where you're going to struggle, and it's finding a way to avoid losing that game, or nicking a tight win. That's what Liverpool have started to do; that's what they did in the Champions League final; they didn't play particularly well after the penalty, but they found a way to win."
Liverpool will go into the new season as the first English European champions since Chelsea in 2012, having lifted the trophy for the first time since 2005 in Madrid on June 1.
How Liverpool have closed the gap
|Season||Position||Points from the top|
Despite the positives of their season Clemence had a word of warning for Klopp's side, who start their new campaign live on Sky Sports against Norwich on August 9.
He said: "It does one of two things - from the team's point of view, you feel more confident because you've won a trophy and you know how to win a trophy.
"But also you have to realise that in the following season, everyone is after your head. You are the European champions. Whether that's in the Premier League or Europe, every other team will want to beat you.
"It's been a long time without a trophy for Liverpool. The Premier League is still eluding them at the moment, but winning the Champions League will give everyone belief around the club, be it players, fans, coaches.
"Having that monkey off their back of winning something, that should give them a big belief for next year.
"You have to expect the challenges will be greater next year, but at the back of your mind you've proved to yourselves you can win things and you just need to maintain that strong belief in how you won it, and continue to do it knowing that winning anything back-to-back is even more difficult."
Ray Clemence was talking to Sky Sports at the launch of the Official Story of Liverpool's 2018/19 season, which you can order here.