Georginio Wijnaldum insists Liverpool 'must not think about the title'
Georginio Wijnaldum says the Liverpool squad have learn to deal with the expectations placed upon them ahead of the start of the Premier League season.
Liverpool open their campaign at Arsenal on Sunday after concluding their preseason programme over the weekend with a mixed results. After convincingly beating Barcelona 4-0 at Wembley on Saturday, Jurgen Klopp's side stuttered 24 hours later as they were beaten by the same scoreline at Bundesliga side Mainz.
Wijnaldum, who joined Liverpool from Newcastle United in a £25 million move last month, insists that the players must not think about challenging for the title and take each game as it comes.
"If you play for Liverpool expectations will always be there," Wijnaldum told the Liverpool Echo. "We have to get used to it.
"It's a big club. It's great. After the game at Wembley we were walking around to thank the fans. But they told me there were so many fans in the Europa League final too, that there were 70 percent Liverpool fans.
"We have a lot of supporters, true supporters, who are always behind the team.
"We're going to try and perform good, game by game. We don't play to surprise people. We play to win games. How people think, we can't control that, the focus is not on surprising people, only on the things we can control, the way we train and the way we play on the field.
"You must not think about the title. You must think game by game and deliver. Then at the end of the season you will know where you're going to stand. It's not good to look too far ahead."
Wijnaldum is quickly getting accustomed to Klopp's fast, high-pressing system, and the versatile midfielder hopes the players can be on top of their game at the Emirates.
"These kind of games [friendlies] give you a lot of confidence of course because you win against a big opponent [Barcelona]," he said. "But we've got to make sure we are going to do this against Arsenal.
"Not every game is the same. We tried to put high pressing and things like that. We have to make sure we do that also against Arsenal.
"Last season when I played against Liverpool it [the style of football] wasn't that different. It's a new style of playing for me. Maybe it will take time to get used to.
"We are trying to press high. Everyone has to defend everyone. You are not marking only one player. You are responsible for everyone."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.