Steve Finnan and Pepe Reina believe the Liverpool defence have restored their confidence with the Reds first clean sheet of the season in Tuesday night’s 0-0 Champions League draw with PSV Eindhoven.
‘It has been a difficult week – we lost a derby, said Finnan.
‘And as always when it’s Liverpool the criticism is intense and a bit over the top.
‘If we had won 3-0 people wouldn’t be slamming Everton, they’d be saying good things about us. But if we lose, we get it.
‘We know we made mistakes, everyone is aware of that, but to get a good away draw in Europe straight afterwards will be a big boost to our confidence.
‘It was important to get back on track, but we need points in the league now to really get ourselves back to our usual level of confidence, and to push up the table. We must be contenders.’
Pepe Reina was also very pleased to get a clean sheet under his belt after receiving a lot of criticism for his performance in the derby game, when his blunder late in the game from handed Everton the 3rd goal of their 3-0 win.
Reina said: ‘The draw in Europe meant a lot to us – we defended well and we may even have deserved a victory in the end.
‘It was important not just for me to keep a clean sheet, but the whole team. It’s better news for us.
‘As a goalkeeper, I know I always have to walk the line between making a mistake and making a save.
‘I made a mistake on Saturday, but I always try to forget about it quickly.
‘That’s harder after a derby when there are people to remind you what happened – I know it was a mistake in an important game, but you just have to keep on going.
‘I have experience, and I have made mistakes before and recovered. I have belief in myself.’
Liverpool’s next test comes in the Barclays Premiership on Sunday at champions Chelsea, and Reina continued: ‘When you get points against the top teams, you know it can make a big difference at the end of the season because it’s not only three points for you, but three less for them.
‘We know we will have to defend as well as last night. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad time for us to be playing them, but we know in these kinds of games, it’s vital we make no more mistakes.’
Finnan added: ‘Hopefully last night’s result will steady the ship a little after what happened at the weekend against Everton.
‘That was not an easy match, so to get a point and produce a decent performance in our first Champions League game was a good outcome.
‘Now it’s Chelsea next and we haven’t had the best results against them at Stamford Bridge in the league over the last few years – so it will be nice to put that record right.
‘We need to kick on in the league now, so it’s important we get something there.
‘I don’t go along with the theory that if we lose there we can forget about the title, it’s only our fourth game and we can go on to well.
‘But if we want to be contenders, even if it won’t be a deciding match, we need to start winning matches there.’