John Achterberg is hopeful that the promising signs of communication between Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet can help the Liverpool defence prosper during the upcoming season.

The former, who arrived at Anfield only last month following a move from Southampton, was a revelation on his first appearance for the Reds, against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

In addition to a first-half headed goal, the Croatian centre-back was a robust and dominant presence at the back, endearing himself to a sold-out home crowd immediately.

Notable too was the level of communication among the defensive line and goalkeeper Mignolet, who clocked up a second clean sheet in three matches as pre-season concluded.

"It's very important for any defender and goalkeeper that communication works well between them," Achterberg outlined to at Melwood.

"They are already training together. If you play as a centre-half in any team, most rules are the same. You are just learning from each other and looking at the movement of each other to pick up the right positions.

"We know what to expect, what to do and how to handle different situations. Simon always needs to look for the right balance in the team; when we're attacking, we need to make sure the defence behind the ball is set up correctly.

"When we're defending, the combination of centre-halves squeeze up to the ball, close down and make sure that the gaps are small and tight."


Of the seven new recruits signed by Brendan Rodgers this summer, one other has been a defender - Javier Manquillo, captured on loan from Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.

On Tuesday, it was also announced that an agreement is in place with La Liga outfit Sevilla for the transfer of full-back Alberto Moreno.

Having recorded 10 Barclays Premier League clean sheets last season, Achterberg believes the Reds are more strongly equipped this time around to regularly thwart opponents.

The Dutchman continued: "As a whole team, we want to improve defensively because obviously the fewer goals you concede the more chance you have to win games and the more clean sheets you keep.

"That's what we'll be focusing on - it's communication between the defence, Simon and the whole team from the front to the back. Hopefully we can improve.

"There are a lot of new players that have come into the club to help the team improve. I definitely think we will improve.

"We have already kept a few clean sheets in the recent games; we're improving that side of things by working in training."