Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has revealed how Brendan Rodgers outlined a new role for him during tactical conversations held between the pair at the start of 2014.

Discussions coincided with the manager's decision to move Steven Gerrard to a deeper position and centred on the part Lucas could play in a potential diamond formation.

Such a system has been deployed regularly as Rodgers' side have surged to the top of the Barclays Premier League table, courtesy of an 11-game winning streak which was halted by Chelsea on Sunday.

Operating in such a formation is not a foreign concept for Lucas; in fact, the Brazilian spent much of his early career playing in a more advanced role on the pitch - and he's determined to make it work at Liverpool.

"I played there for Gremio," he told the official Liverpool FC monthly magazine. "We used to play a lot of time in a diamond.

"We had a holding midfielder, a playmaker, then me - more box-to-box. The playmaker did not run forward so much but I had the energy and freedom to join the attack.

"It's pretty much the same Brendan asks here if we play in a diamond. Yes, you have to look after the full-backs and, when the ball is on the other side of the pitch, help outside the holding midfielder. You also have to keep the ball but contribute to the attack.

"We sat down in January, where he explained that he wanted to use Stevie as a holding player and me on the side of the three midfielders or the diamond. I had to re-adjust.

"It's something I feel comfortable with. Of course, as much as you play you feel even more comfortable. You know you can help more. Football is like that.

"The team is doing so well and it is difficult for the manager to change things. You understand that. I know that the only way is to train hard and prepare. Lots of players this season have had chances when they did not expect it."


Plaudits have flooded in from all corners of the footballing world for the manner in which Gerrard has adapted his style to the controlling position he now dominates in front of the Reds' defence

"I know Stevie is playing in my position and doing very, very well," said Lucas.

"So that's why I'm working hard and maybe looking - not towards another position - but maybe another way I can help, and still play beside Stevie. Because I know him being in the team in that position, my chances will be limited.

"Besides Kenny [Dalglish], Stevie is considered one of the club's greatest players and he is still one of the best in Europe. He is our captain, a fantastic player and a fantastic person as well.

"He's our leader. So I just have to see if I can help in any way. Especially being here for so long, I want to be part of it."