Daniel Agger insists Liverpool have improved despite worse league position than 12 months ago

Defender scores winner against Southampton at weekend

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger insists the team are playing better than 12 months ago even if the statistics do not back up his assertion.

After 15 matches of the season Brendan Rodgers' side are 11th on 19 points, 17 behind leaders Manchester United and seven adrift of Champions League qualification having won only four games and drawn seven.

A year ago, under Kenny Dalglish, the team were sixth, 12 points off the top and just three behind fourth place with seven victories and five draws.

There is more of a similarity between the two regimes in relation to their failure to convert chances despite dominating games but Agger thinks they are better now than then.

"The last couple of games we've played really well," said the Denmark captain.

"I think the Tottenham game (a 2-1 defeat last Wednesday) was one of the best games I've played in for a long time - we played them off the pitch.

"Confidence is a big thing here and I think we have it. We are brave on the ball, want to go forward and we are not just playing around and I think that is the difference.

"I think we are creating more chances than last season. I don't see the statistics but the feeling on the pitch is we are creating bigger chances.

"It is difficult to compare two seasons but it is feeling better now."

The vital statistics for Rodgers' new way of working since taking over from Dalglish in June may not have improved but they are going from strength to strength individually for Agger.

Previously seen as injury-prone the 27-year-old is currently enjoying his longest run of Barclays Premier League matches in nearly seven years at Anfield, having made a 13th consecutive appearance against Southampton at the weekend.

He would undoubtedly have started every league match had he not been sent off in the season-opener at West Brom and has played 1,210 minutes so far having only been substitute twice.

Agger puts his success down to a change in the way he looks after himself both before and after matches.

"I always enjoy playing football. It is being on the pitch not outside and the last year or so it has been good for me," said the centre-back.

"You learn all the time when you are playing football and I am doing some different things than I did a few years ago.

"I am trying to look after myself better and it is helping.

"It is just things like the way you train, work in the gym, how you recover - and I think that is the most important thing.

"It is also helping with the team around us, the physios and the manager giving us time to recover because that is always difficult in this league.

"When you are playing so many games it is hard to recover. You need to use the time well and the manager is really good at that."

Agger scored his first goal of the season to clinch the three points against Southampton and he knows he and his team-mates are going to have to contribute more.

Leading scorer Luis Suarez, who has 10 Premier League goals, is suspended for the weekend trip to West Ham and without another fit recognised senior striker Rodgers will have to find another way of maximising their chances.

"Everyone knows Luis is a quality player and if you lose one of those it is a big miss," said Agger.

"Hopefully another player will step up because if you want to move up the table not just one player can get goals.

"It was nice to get on the scoresheet - it is about time - and of course I want to contribute more."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz