Lucas Leiva hailed Daniel Sturridge’s “amazing quality” and believes his timely return could be the perfect fillip for Liverpool.
The England striker marked just his second appearance after five months out following hip surgery with a two-goal haul as Liverpool defeated Aston Villa 3-2 at Anfield to claim their first Premier League win in five games.
Lucas, who played the midfield holding role at Anfield on Saturday, thinks the belief the Reds gained from scoring three times can drive them forward as they bid to transform their season.
“We know what Daniel is capable of,” Lucas told the club’s website.
“He’s still not 100% in terms of fitness and sharpness and I think he coped really well today with 90 minutes.
“His quality is amazing, he can score goals and that’s what we were struggling with.
“I think it was very positive to get three goals, of course we still have to improve in a few areas but working hard and winning games will give you the belief to keep going.
“We’ve been through a lot the last few weeks and we knew it was an important game to get the three points, and I think we deserved it.
“From the first minute I think we were the better team. We still have a few things to improve but I think the most important thing today was to win and get the three points and hopefully it’s going to be the win that will keep us going. We have two massive games ahead of us now.”
Lucas claimed the team spirit at Avfield is as strong as ever, despite heavy criticism of boss Brendan Rodgers, and suggested the players are keen to put things right after a poor run of results.
“People have been criticising us a lot, the results haven’t been good. But today showed we have a great team spirit and a good group of players that want to fight to the end to get things right,” added Lucas.