Daniel Agger believes Liverpool's impressive start to 2013-14 has provided them with the ideal platform to mount a challenge for a top-four finish – particularly if they can continue the recent trend of enjoying a successful second half of the season.
The Reds head into Saturday's Anfield encounter with West Bromwich Albion in third place in the Barclays Premier League having lost just once in their eight games so far this term.
However, Agger knows Steve Clarke's side will provide a difficult test having recorded the double over Liverpool last term.
"The last few seasons have shown how important it is not to drop down too early," he told Liverpoolfc.com. "In the last few years, in the second half of the season we've been so good and got so many points.
"Hopefully we can do that again this season - and with our good start, that will take us a long way.
"We had two tough games last year against West Brom, but we thought we should have gotten more out of them.
"We know they're a tough team to beat and we have to be at our best, even at home. They've changed a little bit and are more direct this season, so we have work to do."
West Brom have been a different proposition since former Liverpool first-team coach Clarke took up the reins at the Hawthorns last summer.
Having worked with the Scot from January 2011 until June 2012, Agger isn't shocked by the impact he's had.
"It doesn't surprise me," he admitted. "When Steve was here, he was quality - he's one of the best people I've worked with. He's a clever coach and I don't have enough good words to say about him.
"He was good for me because he sees the game the way I see it. We were quite similar.
"I wish him all the best...but not on Saturday, of course."
Liverpool go into the contest on the back of a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United last weekend.
Agger acknowledges the Reds were frustrated not to have picked up the win at St James' Park, particularly as the hosts went down to 10 men following the sending-off of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa just before half-time; however, he's confident it could prove a point gained come May.
He said: "When the opponents go down to 10 men that early, we would have hoped to have gotten more from the game - but Newcastle is a tough, tough place to go, even though we beat them 6-0 last season.
"They have some quality players and there's a great atmosphere at the stadium.
"We wanted more than a point, we didn't get that but maybe that one point will be worth something at the end of the season."
Meanwhile, Agger has spoken of his determination to win a place back in Brendan Rodgers' starting XI.
The Dane hasn't started since the defeat by Southampton on September 21, but insists he'll keep putting in hard work on the Melwood training pitches to catch the manager's eye.
Agger said: "I just need to keep doing what I'm always doing. I always give everything I have and I can't give any more.
"It's not up to me, it's up to the manager and I can't control that - I can only do my best."