Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the club’s arrivals from last summer are starting to prove their worth after the Reds claimed a 1-0 win at Sunderland.
Rodgers came under pressure earlier in the season due to a run of poor results and a host of summer signings failing to make an impression. Yet their hopes of a Premier League top-four finish have been given a boost by a run that has seen them lose just once in 12 games.
And Lazar Markovic, signed from Benfica for a reported £20million fee last July, produced his best performance in a Liverpool shirt, scoring a ninth-minute winner at the Stadium of Light.
Rodgers told BT Sport 1: “Our confidence is returning. It’s a team that gets better and better as the season goes on. This year a lot of new players have come in but they’re understanding their way of working.
“We’ve got a lot of exciting young talent here that are just slowly starting to feel their way into our team and our philosophy. They’re playing very well so we just want to keep that continuity and keep that work going.”
Rodgers was delighted with his side’s performance against Sunderland, who were booed off at the end of both halves following a flat display.
“It was an outstanding team performance today. I thought we had great control of the game, I suppose the only disappointment was that we never got more goals,” he said.
“No matter how much domination you have of a game, when it’s 1-0 you’re always going to be asked to defend, and when they did that the players were outstanding.
“So a great victory for us and it just keeps our momentum going.”
Markovic put his side ahead with a clinical finish, but was denied what would have been a superb second when the underside of the crossbar kept out his acrobatic half-volley.
Jordan Henderson, who moved to Anfield from Sunderland in 2011, said of his team-mate: “He’s a fantastic player, got great potential and he’s wanting to learn all the time.
“He puts in hard work on the training field and I think you’ve seen that with the quality he’s got going forward.”