Liverpool kept focus on winning Premier League title before return was announced, says Lovren

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Dejan Lovren Liverpool 2019-20
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The Croatian defender says the Reds squad has remained united in pursuit of an elusive piece of silverware amid the coronavirus crisis

Liverpool kept their focus on winning the Premier League title before 'Project Restart' was announced, according to Dejan Lovren.

The Reds were on the verge of securing a first top-flight crown in 30 years when the coronavirus outbreak called a temporary halt to the 2019-20 campaign on March 13.

Jurgen Klopp's men won 27 of their opening 29 fixtures to storm 25 points clear of reigning champions Manchester City, who have played a game less.

Only two more wins will be needed for Liverpool's coronation to be confirmed, with the Premier League set to resume on June 17 following a three-month hiatus.

There were strong calls for the season to be voided as Covid-19 cases began to rise across England, but the number of people testing positive for the virus has dropped in recent weeks, leading to an easing of lockdown restrictions.

Lovren insists that he and his Liverpool team-mates took all the necessary steps to maintain their fitness levels while in quarantine, with a view to being at the peak of their powers when football was finally cleared to return.

The Croatian centre-back told the club's official website: "To be honest, even without a date at the beginning, our main focus and goal was, 'Guys, let's finish the season. There will, of course, be a date back, but just stay in shape, be in shape when we come back. We will do it and then we can say well done.' 

"That was our main focus from the beginning. All the time we have been working in the gym, we know what is our focus. Of course we still have two games [to win until] we can say, 'Yeah, we are the champions' but our main focus is to win all the games. That's the main target." 

Lovren is delighted to have seen the squad's discipline pay off, but admits that he found his final few weeks in self-isolation frustrating due to the lack of certainty over the resumption of top-level sport.

He added: "The last two weeks before we came back together, to be honest, I was a little bit struggling with not knowing when we will start and when we will be back together.

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"You put so many questions in your mind, 'When will everything be back to normal?', but this is a great challenge for yourself and to show to everyone that you care about yourself, you care about your team. 

"So we did it and we did an amazing job. We came back in great shape. We did some physical tests and I think it says a lot about the team. 

"Everyone respected all the planning and programmes that we got. This is what's important for this team."