When the Liverpool coaching staff received the news that Daniel Agger was unable to play against Swansea City on Monday, the availability of Mamadou Sakho ensured there was no need for panic.

The 23-year-old joined the Reds from French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain on transfer deadline day and contributed an assured defensive performance during the 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

Victor Moses accompanied Sakho in making his debut for the club in Wales and punctuated his first appearance with a thrilling goal - and both men were the subject of praise from Mike Marsh.

"Victor played really well and took his goal really well," the first-team coach told Liverpoolfc.com when asked about the pair.

"It was good for Victor, and for Mamadou - two really good performances for players that have not played a great deal of football of late.

"He's an experienced player even though he's only a young player - he's a full French international. So we had no qualms about putting him into the side and he handled himself really well.

"Looking back over the full 90 minutes, a draw was a fair result. We dominated for up to 60 minutes and unfortunately we lost Philippe to injury and we lost a little bit of control of the game.

"They came into it themselves and had a couple of chances late on, but we dug in. I think a draw was a fair reflection."


The Reds' 100 per cent record and clean sheet streak in the Barclays Premier League ended against the Swans, but Marsh revealed that there is nothing but positivity around Melwood.

He added: "We said 'well done'. We've gone away from home and earned a point.

"We went behind early in the game and managed to get ourselves in front. But Swansea are a good team, they applied a bit of pressure and managed to get the equaliser.

"We dug in when we had to towards the end of the game and came away with a well-earned point. We have reiterated to the boys that it's a point well-earned and a good performance.

"If you had offered us 10 points after four games before the season started, we would have taken it. We're sitting at the top of the league and there are lots of positives to take from that.

"I wouldn't say it's a different vibe, but four games in last season to four games in this season - there's a different look on the table.

"It gives everyone a little bit more confidence to be nearer the top than nearer the bottom, so it's all positive."

An unfortunate result of the trip to Wales, however, was an injury to Philippe Coutinho which has subsequently ruled the Brazilian playmaker out for around six weeks.

"It's a big disappointment for us because he has been playing really well since he signed for us in January; he has been at the top of his form for quite a while now," said Marsh.

"It will give someone else the opportunity to come into the side and stake their claim while Phil is out.

"I'm sure someone will step up to the plate and stake their claim for a regular place in the starting XI. We've also got Luis Suarez to come back into the picture after the Southampton game when his suspension is up."

Next on Liverpool's Premier League schedule is a home clash with Southampton - the last team to beat Brendan Rodgers' side, with a 3-1 victory at St Mary's back in March.

The former Reds midfielder said: "We're expecting a tough test - they are a really good side.

"We went to Southampton just after New Year and were beaten comfortably. We're expecting a tough game against a good team.

"It will be important to be patient. We'd like to get off to a good start, to try to settle the nerves. But, like we do in every game, if the goals don't come early we like to control the game and keep hold of the ball.

"There's 90 minutes to score a goal. We understand that teams have traditionally come here, sat in and made it difficult for us. We will have to be patient and we understand that."

Rickie Lambert provides a focal point at the front of Southampton's attack, having notched 16 Premier League goals since his side returned to the top flight.


"He has been fantastic; everyone has been keeping an eye on him for quite a while now," Marsh concluded.

"He had a double promotion with Southampton, got into the Premier League last year and showed everyone what he can actually do.

"At this stage, he has managed to break into the international squad and score a couple of goals. I've got nothing but positive things to say for him, and not just because he's a Kirkby lad! He's a really good footballer and I'm really pleased for him."