Nathaniel Clyne wants Liverpool to keep up their recent clean sheet habit after a second consecutive shutout proved key to a 1-0 win over Sunderland.

The Reds made it six points from six in the Barclays Premier League over the festive period as they followed up a Boxing Day victory against Leicester City with another one-goal success in the clash with Sam Allardyce's men.

And Clyne believes those results show the value in prioritising defensive solidity as a starting point.

"If we're solid in defence, don't given the opposition any chances, and keep a clean sheet, there's always a bigger chance that we'll get maximum points," he told Liverpoolfc.com.

"It was a good performance for us as a team and it was important to get the three points today. I think we deserved it. 

"We played well and got the goal, we probably could have scored more goals, but we'll take the three points and a clean sheet.

"We knew that Sunderland would sit deep and try and play on the counter-attack so it was up to us to break them down. It was very difficult but we managed it in the end."

As was the case against the Foxes four days earlier, Christian Benteke provided the matchwinning goal in the second half for Jürgen Klopp's team on this occasion.

Clyne was full of praise for the No.9, who he expects to continue proving himself a big asset going forward.

"He's a very important player for us," the right-back added.

"He's a good striker, a good target man, he can hold the ball up for us when we need to get it to him and he can bring players into the game. 

"Now he's scoring goals for us which is important and hopefully he can score more goals this season."

The defender also expressed his belief that Liverpool can keep closing the gap to the top four, which now stands at just five points.

"The team is full of confidence with back-to-back wins," he continued.

"We go into the New Year with confidence and [we'll] go into every game trying to win and push up the league and see where it takes us. 

"There are still plenty of points to play for and if we keep performing as we did today I'm sure we won't be too far off [the top four]."

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