Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confessed that he is happy to see the back of 2021 as the club look to continue their resurgence in 2022.
Injuries and losses of form saw Liverpool fall short of their incredibly high standards for the first half of last year, and 2021 didn't exactly end on a high note as Klopp's men failed to win either of their last two Premier League games - a 2-2 draw with Tottenham and a 1-0 loss to Leicester.
"I didn't have a proper look back [at 2021], but I saw a few [highlight reels] of 2021 and for convenience tried to find some positives in 2021 - and it was tricky," Klopp told Sky Sports News. "I'm happy it's over pretty much."
He continued: "Qualifying for the Champions League was for us an absolute highlight and the way we did it but the year started off with an awful injury crisis and you don't want to have that on top of all the corona things around. It was a really tough time.
"We made it somehow happen and we needed the goal from our goalkeeper and that was a massive highlight, no doubt about it. A very good pre-season, we played an absolutely OK season so far, that's absolutely true but with all the things around it's just tricky
"You arrive in the morning and you never know who you have available the next morning. It's not cool. That's why I said: the year was not a catastrophe but it's not one I'll remember for ages.
"The new normal is better than the other normal in Covid but there's still space for improvement towards the real normal, I can't wait for that."
As far as resolutions go, Klopp was reluctant to think too far into the future, insisting that Liverpool's focus is solely on Sunday's meeting with Chelsea and keeping the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City.
"City are flying," Klopp confessed. "Before the Leicester game, we were in a perfect position, only three points behind City, which, with the season they've played, is incredible.
"Our start to this year, 2021, was massively difficult, and to find a way back into your normal performances and maybe improve them was a massive improvement.
"But one of us can put pressure on City, the winner can… the loser I don't know. We will see that later on. We will not give up just because we lost our game against Leicester. We will try everything, 100%. There are a lot of games to come.
"City didn't have a proper 'down' in 2021. Their 110 points in a calendar year is quite impressive, I have to say!
"But in the end it's a football game and the only way you can win is if you really want to play it, fancy the challenge, be annoying if necessary, be fluid if possible, play your best football and, if you give it a try, you have a chance. But the opponents are Chelsea and they are a really good team as well."