Liverpool Manager, Jurgen Klopp, has declared that he “doesn’t care” about the “increasing pressure” at Anfield after spending nearly £170m on four new players this summer.
The Reds have signed goalkeeper Alisson and midfielders Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri as they look to close the gap on Manchester City.
Liverpool finished 25 points behind Premier League winners, Manchester City last term.
“We have not bought a team while the others have sold theirs, it is not like this,” manager Klopp told BBC Sport.
“We don’t have a free way to go to the championship, it will be really hard.
“They are still there, but we have improved our position for us. What it means for the league we will see.”
‘I am not a dreamer’
Liverpool have spent nearly £250m in the last 12 months, including world record fees for £66.8m for goalkeeper Alisson from Roma and £75m defender Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January.
This summer, Guinea midfielder Keita has arrived from RB Leipzig for about £50m, Brazil midfielder Fabinho has joined from Monaco in a deal that could be worth more than £40m, and Switzerland winger Shaqiri has come in from Stoke for £13m.
However the club has also raised significant funds, including through the £142m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January.
Klopp said: “Pressure is only on the outside. That is not important really. What you say about me in three months doesn’t change my life completely.
“It is exactly the same with our owners. We are completely fine. It is not as though the others are asleep.
“You are right, the pressure comes from outside. It is probably increasing. I don’t care about that. I want us to play the best football we can play and make our fans happy. That is it. What other people say, I don’t care.
“I am not a dreamer, I don’t dream that we can be there or there. Other people can do that but we have to build a ground for these dreams.
“We need to play football and that is 80% of the season, if not 90 per cent, the hardest work. The 10% is the day when you go bang, bang, bang and win 5-0. Wow. That is football.”
‘We have to prove we’re not a selling club’
Klopp won two Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 and one German Cup during his seven-season spell at Borussia Dortmund, as well as reaching a Champions League final, but also saw key players leave during his reign.
Striker Robert Lewandowski and midfielder Mario Gotze both joined Bayern Munich and Shinji Kagawa went to Manchester United, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan all departed after Klopp left the club in 2015.
Liverpool have also seen many of their star players leave in recent seasons including Coutinho and Luis Suarez to Barcelona, Raheem Sterling to Manchester City and Fernando Torres to Chelsea.
Klopp says Liverpool have to “prove” they are no longer a selling club and faces a “similar” situation to what he had at Dortmund.
“Years ago I was at Dortmund,” he said. “If they had let us play for the next four years with the Dortmund team of 2011 we would have won the Champions League at least once.
“They were 19/20 years old. It was an unbelievable team and we were lucky to bring them all together. We have not exactly the same [at Liverpool] but it is similar.
“In the past for Liverpool it was the same situation. Torres, Suarez, Coutinho, Sterling. They were sold. That is true. The only thing that means for us now is that we are responsible. We cannot blame anybody. We cannot say ‘he is not there any more’.
“You have to use the quality and don’t rely on individuals to make a difference. Football is not like this.
“City wasn’t champions last season because they had the best players in every position. They played outstandingly well and fantastic football. That was the reason.”