Steve Clarke concentrating on defence

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New Liverpool first team coach Steve Clarke says the team’s recent success has been down to a change in training methods and a concentration on defending.

Discussion: In praise of Steve Clarke

Clarke was brought in by caretaker boss Kenny Dalglish at the start of January, and the Reds have now won their last four games with four clean sheets.

Much praise is being heaped onto the former Chelsea coach, with much improved player performances of late from the likes of Glen Johnson and Raul Meireles.

He told the club’s official website, “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.

“I know it sounds like an old cliché and it’s really simple but the basis of any good team is built on a strong defence. It has been good for us in the last few games not to have let any goals in. It’s good for Pepe, it’s good for the confidence of everybody and hopefully we can continue that.”

Clarke also spoke of Liverpool’s change in tactics, and reverting to an old fashioned 3-5-2 formation, with wingbacks.

He continued, “It has and it’s something we wanted to do against Stoke to get another big player in the team to nullify their threat in the air, and it worked very well.

“We decided to go again with it on Sunday [against Chelsea] and it worked really well again, so it’s good when you have got two or three different systems that you can play. If your players are adaptable and can fit into any system then it’s obviously great going forward.”

Liverpool next face Wigan at home on Saturday as they continue their assault up the table. From the grim reality of being in a relegation battle a month ago, Liverpool are now looking to edge themselves towards the top four.

He added, “The Wigan game is very important. The club when we came here were in a false position and not a good position. It was important to put that right and get us as high up the league as possible.

“The only way you do that is by winning games. We have shown that when you string together a good couple of wins then you quickly go up the table. We are in a better position now but we are certainly not in a position that Liverpool Football Club should be at. We want to be higher.”

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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