Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lucas: Criticism Spurs Me On

Liverpool's victory over Chelsea yesterday has been cast as the moment Fernando Torres recaptured his scoring prowess, but for one of the Spaniard's team-mates the fixture could also prove pivotal. Lucas Leiva, who so often has been at the centre of the Kop's frustrations during their team's recent malaise, was outstanding, playing with a diligence and determination that was more reminiscent of Javier Mascherano, the man he has been tasked with replacing. Such was the impact of the Brazilian, who was signed by Rafael Benítez in July 2007, that he won more than 50% of the vote in a man-of-the-match poll run on a LFC TV phone-in show held immediately after the Chelsea game. Numerous call and emails also poured into the programme in praise of the 23- year-old, all sharing the theme that, finally, here was a man that belonged in Liverpool red. "I'm getting older and I think I am getting better," said Lucas. "When you get more experience, you feel important and you want to do more. I'm really pleased with how I have played in the last few games and the team is winning. When that happens, everyone has a better performance. Asked if his performance yesterday was the best of his Liverpool career, the player added: "It is hard to judge. I have played 136 games for Liverpool and I'm sure I have had very good games before. Chelsea, I suppose, was one of the best but last year I remember against Manchester United that it went well for me. As a player I am trying to be consistent. "As a midfielder, you have to be consistent. I think it is also good to show that there is more to Brazilian players than just tricks. You need to show that you can do the dirty job for the team. That's what I'm trying to do. I play defensive and get forward when I can." Following the win over Chelsea, their fourth in succession, Liverpool face Wigan at the DW Stadium on Wednesday. The visitors lost the fixture 1-0 last season, a result which effectively saw their chances of qualifying for the Champions League disappear. "That felt like a heavy defeat," added Lucas. "It was clear that we didn't play well. But every season is different. We have three [league] victories in a row and are five games unbeaten. We go there with confidence. If we have the same shape and attitude, hopefully we will beat them." Liverpool, meanwhile, intend to offer Martin Kelly a new three- year contract. The 20-year-old defender has impressed since making his first-team debut last season and put in another strong performance at right-back yesterday. His current deal expires at the end of the season and the club are hopeful he will sign an extension.

No comments:

Post a Comment