Dejan Lovren believes Liverpool proved they can play 'serious football' during Wednesday's 5-0 away win over Porto.
The Reds took a big step toward qualification for the Champions League quarter-finals as they clocked up five away goals at Estadio do Dragao in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
Jürgen Klopp's team were rarely threatened after going ahead in the 25th minute, with their dominance of possession and defensive solidity providing a foundation for further forward forays.
Lovren revealed that he and his teammates have been working to ensure they can control games better, and says the win in Portugal proved they are improving on that front.
"It was serious football and we showed we can manage the game from the first until the last minute and this is what we need through the whole season," he said.
"I think we learned from our mistakes. When you are 2-0, 3-0 up you think it is over but it is not and you still have a lot to play. We showed quality and character.
"It is brilliant to be part of the last 16 but there is still a long way to go and we just need to be smart.
"We also need to focus on the Premier League because we need to finish in the top four so we can get what we want which is to be in the Champions League again next season."
After their win in Porto, Liverpool flew straight out to Marbella for a four-day training camp in warmer climes.
On the break from Melwood, Lovren added: "It's not relaxed, it's working time.
"Maybe it is good to be a couple of days away from Liverpool with the bad weather. Definitely we can improve some things. It will be a fabulous atmosphere for the team."