Brendan Rodgers believes Luis Suarez 'thrives' on any opposition hostility towards him.
In a briefing with radio reporters ahead of Sunday's game at Manchester United, the 39-year-old also discussed his hope that moments of brilliance, rather than refereeing decisions, decide the Barclays Premier League encounter.
Read on for the full interview...
How do you assess your form going into this game?
We've won seven of our last nine games, so we go into it with a winning mentality - which is important. In these games you have to show courage and belief. What I've seen in the players in a number of our performances of late is that we've got that. We know it will be a difficult game but in the game earlier in the season, we were the better team for large parts. We arrive there with confidence and we'll look to show that on the field.
United have been far from watertight this season and you will get opportunities there...
That's something that Sir Alex [Ferguson] has said himself, it has been a concern. They have conceded more goals at home than what they would have wanted at this stage. We've got attacking intent but you must always have tactical discipline and order in your game. We've got firepower and people are returning from injury.
You've managed sides at Old Trafford before but never as Liverpool boss. Is it daunting?
Not daunting. This is a proud club with a proud history and a very proud manager leading the team out to defend that. It's one that I'm really looking forward to.
How important is it for the team that Luis Suarez can be a game-winner?
The team understand that from his performances - you only need to look at his level throughout the season. They work with him every day, they don't need to be told that. He's a very important member of our team that can get goals out of nothing. It's very much a collective effort, the spirit in our team is very important. When you go to Old Trafford and play in such a game, it's not about one player, it's about what the team does - that will be the focus at the weekend.
Is this game a good barometer for you in terms of progression?
We want to win the game. But the second half of the season will be the barometer of the levels of where we're at. I expect us to be better in the second half of the season.
Andre Wisdom signed a new contract this week. Are he and Raheem Sterling likely to be involved?
I've got no fear of age, as long as a player has personality. You need personality to play in the big games. If Andre is called upon to play, I've got no doubts about his qualities - he's a very level-headed young man, he's got a good personality. He's shown that a number of times already this season. Everyone has seen Raheem rise from the reserve team to become a full international in a very short period of time. To do that, you need to have the capacity to deal with pressure. As an 18-year-old young man, he's dealt with that very well. If he gets the call, I've got no worries.
Do the senior players have a job to put the young players' minds at ease?
We've got players who have been around the block here for a number of years - the likes of Carra, Steven [Gerrard], Pepe [Reina], Daniel Agger. They understand the fabric of the club and the magnitude of these games. But it's everyone's responsibility, including myself. You pick a group of players to represent the club in the right way. Whether it's Manchester United or any United, it doesn't matter. There are values and ethics here at the club that we have to retain.
How important is it that the referee has a good game and is strong on Sunday?
It's very important. It didn't help us in the last game - we lost a man very quickly and we had a penalty decision that I didn't feel was a penalty. Ultimately that cost us the game. But Howard Webb is an excellent referee, with great experience and a good, strong personality on the field. We hope, like they do, that the game is decided by moments of quality.
How impressed have you been with Suarez's ability to cope with hostility?
His mental fitness is very strong. He's a player who can cope mentally, and you have to because of the pressure they put on themselves to perform and the pressure of playing for such a big club. He has never come in here not smiling. If anything, he thrives on it and it gives him greater motivation. Everyone has seen that - people are looking more at his good side now.
United have been the benchmark for many years. How far are your side from matching them?
It's about having a competitive squad. That's the key to what we're trying to build. Consistency is very much what we're trying to create, an environment that allows you to learn and develop. There's no doubt that on the day we're a match for anyone in every aspect of the game. We're starting to see consistency, which is important if you're going to succeed. That will be the benchmark for us going forward.