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Clarke: Defence key to survival

Liverpool coach Steve Clarke believes work done on tightening up their defence has been rewarded in a season's-best run of four successive victories.

Clean sheets against Wolves, Fulham, Stoke and Chelsea have allowed the Reds to close the gap on the Champions League places to six points. Liverpool have risen to sixth in the Barclays Premier League, with confidence and performances improving hugely since Kenny Dalglish took over as manager a month ago.

Speaking to Press Association Sport, Clarke said: "Your success is always based on how you defend. If you defend well as a team and don't concede goals then you will always give yourself a chance to win the game."

He added: "It has been good for us in the last few games not to have let any goals in. It's good for Pepe (Reina), it's good for the confidence of everybody and hopefully we can continue that. It's good when you've changed the formation a bit and you win.

"Most of the credit has to go to the players. They are the people that go on the pitch and they have to put that into practice and they've done that very well recently.

"I have been impressed with their attitude since I first came to the club.

"Even at the start when it was more difficult to get a result on the training ground you could see the players were working and they were hungry.

"They wanted to take on board what we trying to tell them and hopefully the recent results are a reflection on how they have trained.

"It's good for the manager and the coaching staff when you are getting results.

"We have to be on our guard but we also have to be confident and sure of ourselves and think we are looking like a good side again. We want to continue that and pick up another three points and keep looking at the teams above us."

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph