Wednesday 21 December 2011
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish says the rock-solid defensive partnership of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel is making the Reds among the toughest teams to beat in the Barclays Premier League.
The duo have started the past seven Barclays Premier League matches for Liverpool, during which Dalglish's side has conceded just three times.
That defensive solidity has helped the Reds on a good run which has seen them beaten just once in 11 Barclays Premier League matches ahead of Wednesday's match against Wigan.
Dalglish said the players had slotted into his system well.
"They are certainly both playing very well"
- Kenny Dalglish
"I don't think they've ever looked a bad pair," he said.
"They are certainly both playing very well. It's not just about centre-backs and full-backs defending, it's about everybody.
"As soon as we lose the ball, we start to defend to get it back as soon as we can.
"When we do, everyone can go forward if they want. I mean, Daniel Agger got forward a few times on Sunday [against Aston Villa] and Martin scored a goal.
"They've been good defensively, but they've been good in an attacking sense as well."
The displays of Agger and Skrtel are making it difficult for the experienced Jamie Carragher to break back into the team following his return to full fitness.
But Dalglish said it was healthy for his defence to be so competitive.
"It's not as if the two boys are novices, they are both seasoned internationals," he said.
"Daniel is going to Poland and Ukraine with Denmark. Martin's country [Slovakia] didn't qualify but they are both seasoned footballers who know how to play.
"When they first came in Jamie was alongside them and was a big help to them, as he was for a lot of people here.
"I wouldn't underplay what Jamie has done for them, but they are well capable of standing on their own two feet."