Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt says that seeing striker Fernando Torres scoring goals from every angle has helped the squad forget what a disappointing season they have had.
The Spain international has hit seven in four matches and, even though that run includes a defeat to Manchester United, Kuyt believes Liverpool are now looking forward with confidence. And with Torres approaching full sharpness, having missed five weeks after a January knee operation, they still have realistic hopes of Champions League qualification after Sunday's 3-0 win over Sunderland.
"Not only against Sunderland but since he has been back from his injury he has done a great job," Kuyt said. "He has scored some great goals and has played really well. It makes things a lot easier for the team. Every player has bad moments but we are all trying to leave this behind us. We need to keep going. We have struggled a bit during the season but we don't have time to worry about these things as we have to look forward.
"With Fernando in this form, and also with the team playing a lot better, hopefully we have a chance. It is hard to say why we played so well against Sunderland. One of the things is that everyone in the team is more or less fit, especially Fernando and Stevie Gerrard, and that makes a lot of difference."
The comprehensive win over the Black Cats, in which Torres scored twice, lifted Liverpool to within four points of fourth-placed Tottenham. With an easier-looking run-in – Spurs have to play Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in a 10-day spell – Kuyt said the players were well aware of the significance of their remaining six Premier League fixtures.
"We are very happy with the result against Sunderland and we have to keep going," said the Netherlands international. "We have to push. We are behind and we know it is going to be hard but all we can do is win our own games. We want to win something this season [the Europa League] and we want to play in the Champions League. For us there are six very important league games and we just want to try to win them all."
Kuyt played down suggestions that unhappiness within the squad had contributed some poor results. "Always during a season during games you have arguments with players but I've never had this feeling towards me or other players," he added. "We want to push each other and get the best out of ourselves."