Liverpool used to “fall apart” after suffering Premier League title pain, says Paul Ince, but Jurgen Klopp’s class of 2019-20 have shown that they are “made of stronger stuff”.
Several near misses have been taken in over the course of the last three decades, with Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers coming as close as anybody to getting the Merseyside giants over the line.
Klopp also saw his side fall agonisingly short in 2019, with Manchester City pipping Liverpool to the post by a solitary point.
The Reds could have been forgiven for taking another step backwards after seeing all of their hard work domestically come to nothing.
Records have, however, been sent tumbling in the current campaign, with those at Anfield waiting on the resumption of competitive action as they sit 25 points clear at the summer and two victories away from a long-awaited coronation.
Former Liverpool midfielder Ince told Planet Football of the change in mentality: “They won the Champions League in June and have kicked on from there. They are hungry, they are ready for it and Manchester City have not been up to the task of sticking with them this time.
“I give all the credit in the world to Klopp and his players. They had a massive high winning the Champions League and that came on the back of the massive low of losing out in the title race after getting 97 points and losing just one game all season.
“You look back to 2014 and the last time Liverpool nearly won the league, they fell apart the next season and Brendan Rodgers ended up getting sacked because they took one too many punches in the stomach, but this Liverpool team are made of stronger stuff.
“Klopp has built them superbly, piece by piece. He has bought a spine in Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, with players like Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane improving so much since he arrived at the club.”
It remains to be seen when Liverpool will be cleared to complete their schedule, but a green light for Bundesliga action in Germany and the return to training of leading sides across Europe has offered the Reds hope as they wait on a definitive plan of action from ‘Project Restart’.