Andy Robertson has played down concerns over Liverpool’s form since securing the Premier League title, insisting he and his team-mates simply suffered in the face of a ‘unique situation’ during last season’s run-in.
Having won 28, drawn two and lost just one of their 31 fixtures prior to clinching the trophy, the Reds won only four of their final seven outings of 2019-20.
They also started the new campaign with a penalty shootout defeat to Arsenal in the Community Shield before putting in an unconvincing defensive performance en route to a 4-3 victory over Leeds in the league.
However, Robertson is not convinced that Liverpool’s recent results point to a wider malaise relating to the end of a 30-year wait for a league championship.
And the Scot expects the approach that has brought four trophies to Anfield over the last two years to pay off again this term.
He said: “Of course, the end of last season was a unique situation. We were getting a guard of honour for seven games, getting clapped on by your opponents that technically you're about to go to war with. It's strange.
“And then everything that went along with it, we had the trophy presentation - and obviously we won that game.
“Look, we're not worried about it. We did enough to win last season. We finished first.
“I don't know how many games we ended up losing - three or four or whatever - but if you'd said to every Liverpool supporter that we're going to get 99 points last season and win the league then they would have bitten your hands off for it.
“It didn't matter that these poor results came at the end. We might have a poor result during the season this time and it's all about how you bounce back from it.
“But at the end of the day, it's all about the end goal. It's all about then bouncing back the next game and trying to get back on track so that's the way we'll go about it, that's the way we've always went about it and then we look forward to the challenge again.
“This is a different challenge and different people will try and close the gap between us and Man City. Chelsea will, Man United will.
“It's a competitive league we play in. Everyone's going to try and win that title and we're no different. We will use the same way we've been doing it and hopefully it's successful again.
“We'll give our all on the pitch like we always do. We'll give 100 per cent and if we do fall short then it won't be from a want of trying.”
Liverpool’s bid to retain their crown has no doubt been made all the more difficult by a Chelsea spending spree designed to close the gap to the champions.
The two sides are set to go head to head at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in a game that will offer an early insight into the success of Frank Lampard’s summer splurge.
But Robertson isn’t buying into comparisons between that rebuild and the work done by Klopp at Anfield since 2015 - not least because he believes his manager isn’t finished yet.
“I don’t like comparing teams, to be honest,” he continued.
“Different people have different structures, different transfer targets, different ways of how they build the club and things like that. I wouldn’t say it’s the same.
“Obviously, they’ve spent a good amount of money, which they hope brings them success trying to build a squad after their transfer ban. Their signings are, for a neutral, exciting.
“The Chelsea of last season has improved, that’s safe to say, and now we face that challenge [that] they have got very good players.
“They had very good players last season but they’ve improved their squad. They hope to be challenging and we expect that and we expect a tough game on Sunday but I wouldn’t really compare it to us.
“Every team’s different and we all go on our different journeys and I think the new Chelsea journey is just starting out.
“The Chelsea fans will be excited so let’s see where it goes for them but from when [Klopp] came in he had his own plans and his own journey and we’ve been on that and hopefully that journey’s not finished.”
The champions’ quiet start to the summer transfer window - before it emerged that they were closing in on a £25m deal for Thiago Alcantara, at least - had led to suggestions that they might struggle to retain their title this term.
But Robertson is excited that the Reds will have another opportunity to prove their doubters wrong.
He added: “I think every season we've been questioned. When we lost the Champions League final everyone thought, ‘Will they be back or was it a one-off season?’
“We then went into the next season winning the Champions League and just falling short in the Premier League but even then people said, 'If they didn't beat them this season, they're never going to beat Man City', because of how well we'd done.The following season we went and proved it.
“We've got doubters again, of course we do. We've got people that are backing different teams and that's part and parcel of it, it's part of the fun of it.
“If we are the so-called underdogs again then we enjoy being underdogs. We've always worked just to win the next game, game to game, and certainly that's worked in the last three years.
“We're not going to change the way we think, the way we go about our business. We've only focused on Chelsea.
“We don't care about what's happening at Christmas time or who's going to win the league or anything. We focus on getting points on the board and then we'll focus on the Lincoln game after that.
“These are the things we work to, we work on a game to game basis. It's worked the last three seasons so after that being quite successful why why would we change our ways?”
Andy Robertson’s new book ‘Robbo: Now You’re Gonna Believe Us’ is on sale now. All proceeds go to the AR26 charity.