Liverpool defender Kolo Toure immediately switched focus to the start of the Barclays Premier League after the Reds concluded their preseason preparations on Saturday.
Despite dominating for long periods against Celtic at the Aviva Stadium, Brendan Rodgers‘ team were beaten 1-0 following a first-half strike by Amido Balde.
The effort was only the second goal Rodgers’ defense conceded in seven preseason games — six of which were victories — and Toure insisted the mood should be positive ahead of Stoke’s visit to Anfield.
“They had one chance and scored it,” the Ivorian told Liverpoolfc.com. “We had a few chances. We didn’t score, but that’s part of preseason. Sometimes you are unlucky, like this afternoon.
“Now we need to make sure that next week we are ready, and I think we are ready because we have been working so hard.
“The preseason has been great, now we just need to put all the effort from preseason into the games. Stoke is the target.
“The most important thing is next week — Stoke is going to be a really tough game.
“But after the preseason we have had, we are really confident. We will give 100 percent and try to win the game.
“I feel great, the players have welcomed me and given me the help I need.
“I’m very happy to be in this team and I will do my best. I will give 100 percent every week. That’s what I’m here for, to play football.”
Toure was partnered in central defence by Andre Wisdom against the Scottish champions, and the 32-year-old envisages a bright future for his younger teammate.
“We work as a team. He’s a young player who is learning, and when you are learning you will definitely have some hard times,” said the No. 4. ”But I think he’s a great player. He’s learning very well. He is going to be one of the best defenders in the Premier League, I’m sure.”
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