Brendan Rodgers delivered a glowing assessment of his side's performance and praised Liverpool's four debutants after Preston were comfortably beaten 4-0 at Deepdale on Saturday.

The manager handed debuts to all four of the club's summer signings so far, with Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet starting the game, and Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto coming on at half-time.

On 13 minutes, Philippe Coutinho swept a penalty beyond Declan Rudd to break the deadlock before Jordon Ibe and Raheem Sterling produced two smart finishes to extend the Reds' lead. Then, on 75 minutes, Aspas curled home from range to seal the win.

Afterwards, the manager told LFC TV: "The players have been back for 11 days now and I thought their work-rate, quality and intensity in the game was very good. So I'm very pleased.

"Mignolet was very confident and very composed. He had a great day today. Everything he did, he did it well. And he's already integrated really well and I thought he was solid.

"Toure is a very experienced professional. I was actually watching him last night on ESPN when he played for Arsenal at Anfield in the 2003-04 season. So he's been around for a long time and he's a wonderful player. He's got great experience and he defends really well.

"Then in the second half I thought the two boys did really well. Alberto fits into the mould of what we're looking to do here. We want technically gifted players who work hard and some of his touches were fantastic. He's incisive with his passing. And so I'm very pleased with him.

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"Iago works hard; he's got a trick in and around the box and he excites supporters. He's a good guy and he works very hard for the supporters.

"He drifts well in between the lines and always wants to receive the ball. But what I like is that he wants to score goals. He's looking to create and combine or go solo by himself and get a shot in. His goal was a terrific strike."

While it was a good day for the new faces, the manager was equally pleased to welcome back two familiar figures who were kept sidelined for large parts of last season due to injury.

Joe Allen, who underwent shoulder surgery at the end of the last campaign, made a return to the side for the first time to play the first half against Preston.

Meanwhile, Martin Kelly, who suffered an ACL rupture which affected his right knee, played the final nine minutes of the friendly at Deepdale.

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"With Joe there was no problem," said Rodgers. "He was a bit like Steven Gerrard [in that he underwent shoulder surgery] but he had an operation before [Gerrard]. And there's no after-effects.

"And with Martin it was good to see him come back. He's trained throughout pre-season and done a couple of days of this week. It was a nice induction for him and that gets him up and running again."

Up next for Rodgers and his players is a summer tour of Jakarta, Melbourne and Bangkok, to pay a visit to the many thousands of passionate Reds fans who follow the club from afar.

"It's very important for a club like Liverpool to travel worldwide and see our supporters," said the manager.

"It's going to be an exhausting trip but we've had a couple of weeks here to get some work in.

"So we're looking forward to bringing the club and the team over to Asia and the players and staff are all looking forward to it."

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