The competition in Liverpool's goalkeeping ranks has contributed to Loris Karius' excellent form, according to James Milner.
Saturday’s goalless stalemate against Everton chalked up an eighth clean sheet in the German’s past 15 matches as the Reds maintained momentum with a Premier League point at Goodison Park.
Karius preserved his shutout in sensational fashion when he tipped a Yannick Bolasie curler wide of the post in the first half – the latest of a number of eye-catching saves since he returned to the team.
As well as the help of the players in front of him during matches, Milner has highlighted the influence of Simon Mignolet and Danny Ward in training on the No.1’s recent high level.
“All credit to Si for pushing him all the way,” said the vice-captain.
“They’ve had to battle for that No.1 spot and what you need is competition. Wardy is there as well so we have three ‘keepers pushing to be in the team and Loris has done well since coming in.
“He’s good with his feet, he has been calm and made some very good saves, so it is good to see him doing well and the boys behind him pushing him.
“When you are playing for a team who have quite a bit of the ball, you might be called on once or twice a game to pull out a save when you haven’t been involved – that’s the hardest part for a goalkeeper and he’s done that well.
“He is talking and trying to be involved in the game when we are attacking. I think the clean sheet numbers have gone up so he’s obviously doing well and that’s credit to the boys in front of him as well.”
Milner himself has been the subject of considerable praise in recent weeks.
The midfielder’s energetic and creative work from the centre of the pitch was particularly fruitful as Manchester City were beaten 3-0 in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Anfield.
But the Englishman sees that side of his game as a basic requirement under Jürgen Klopp.
“My running numbers are pretty consistent throughout the year, but I think it was slightly higher the other night [against City],” said Milner.
“It has been part of my game, being able to cover ground, and it is something that’s needed in this team. We are always pressing and you can’t leave your mate to press on his own.
“You have to press in numbers and if one person doesn’t do their job or get on the front foot and cover the ground and close the gap then the [other] team gets out and you are under pressure.”