Kevin Stewart expects the benefits of Liverpool's mid-season training camp in La Manga to be evident in terms of both team spirit and tactics over the course of the remainder of the campaign.

In the absence of an FA Cup fifth-round fixture, the Reds headed to the south of Spain for four days in order to continue their preparations for their final 13 fixtures of 2016-17.

Double sessions and a practice match were scheduled by Jürgen Klopp and his coaching team during a trip the manager described as something of a second pre-season.

But it is not just the work done on the pitch that Stewart believes will pay dividends.

"I think it's really good to do something different," he told Liverpoolfc.com.

"A lot of new players came in this season and people coming up from the Academy, so not everyone knew each other too well. 

"I think these kind of trips are really good to connect with people, spend more time with [them], get to know each other and gel together. I think it will help performances. 

"No matter what we do, we're always keeping an eye on the football and trying to improve. 

"Out there, we played hard and did fun things but we worked hard as well and had a lot of sessions."

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Academy prospects Ben Woodburn, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Masterson and Yan Dhanda were among the 27-man squad selected by Klopp to head to the continent last week.

As a player whose skills were honed in the club's youth setup before he made an impact at first-team level last season, Stewart knows just how important involvement with the senior players can be for young hopefuls.

"I remember when I was younger, I went on a trip with the first team," he added.

"It's just [helpful] to get to know the older players, learn from them, become more comfortable in front of them. 

"It gives you more confidence and helps you improve as a player."

The tough-tackling midfielder went on to reveal the message sent out to the squad by Klopp ahead of a run-in where Champions League football is at stake.

The 23-year-old continued: "[He said] just to really continue what we're doing and, when we go through bad times, not get too down [and] realise what's gone wrong and fix it. 

"[He told] everyone [to] stick together, keep pushing. 

"We know that we've got the ability and everything we need to achieve what we want to achieve - it's just how we want to do it and when."

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