Lucas Leiva has told Liverpool fans there is more to come from Lazar Markovic, who dismantled Sunderland on Saturday, and Philippe Coutinho, who has thrilled Kopites with his displays in recent weeks.

Markovic gave perhaps his finest performance since arriving at the club from Benfica in the summer as he landed the decisive blow during the 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light. 

The Serbian tormented his opopnents with a series of slaloming surges and hit the only goal of the game before rattling Costel Pantilimon's crossbar with a stunning, dipping volley from the edge of the penalty area.

Lucas was thrilled with the vibrant showing from his teammate, who now has two Liverpool goals to his name, and the Brazilian is backing Markovic to go from strength to strength in the second half of the season. 

"There's no doubt he's a very young player and people usually judge players after one or two months," Lucas told 

"We know that the Premier League is a hard league to come and play in straight away, so he's just improving all the time and today he showed again that he could be very important for the future of the club." 

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Coutinho, meanwhile, who scooped the Standard Chartered Player of the Month accolade this week, was his usual diligent self, prowling in search of openings and supplying passes with deft touches throughout the 90 minutes. 

The Brazilian has already spent two years showcasing his talents at Anfield, having arrived at the club from Inter Milan in January 2013, but Lucas insists the No.10 can still improve further and attain even higher standards. 

"I think Coutinho can get anywhere he wants," said the defensive midfielder. "His quality and his movement and his final pass. Philippe has been here for two years now and you can see he will only get better. 

"They are young players. When you have difficult moments during the season, normally the young players struggle a bit more. But they have the quality and I think they will be very important." 

While Lucas was keen to praise the work of others, the 28-year-old also played his part against Sunderland, shielding the Reds' back four, reading the flow of the game to make interceptions and stifle the opposition. 

In the 13 games since Lucas returned to the team against Ludogorets Razgrad in late November, Liverpool have lost just one match - and that was against Manchester United at Old Trafford, when the No.21 was not involved. 

He has started in every other match during that time and has not been on the losing side - a statistic that Lucas is determined to preserve throughout the remainder of the current campaign. 

"It's good to win away from home and keep a clean sheet at a difficult place to come to," he said of the win over Sunderland. "But we had a plan to win the game and we probably could have scored more goals. 

"I think we had the patience to move the ball very well. We knew that Sunderland play very compact and that they are always very hard to break down. But I think we were very dangerous on the counter-attack and we were pressing the ball very well. So I think we deserved it." 

He added: "I thought for the first 10 minutes of the second half that we were probably too deep again. They had a chance, which hit the crossbar, but apart from that, I think we controlled the game and it was a well-deserved win."