Agger happier this season
Published 03/12/2012 | 23:29
Liverpool defender Daniel Agger insists the team are playing better than 12 months ago even if the statistics do not back up his assertion.
After 15 matches of the season Brendan Rodgers' side are 11th on 19 points, 17 behind leaders Manchester United and seven adrift of Champions League qualification having won only four games and drawn seven. A year ago, under Kenny Dalglish, the team were sixth, 12 points off the top and just three behind fourth place with seven victories and five draws.
"The last couple of games we've played really well," said Denmark captain Agger.
"I think the Tottenham game (a 2-1 defeat last Wednesday) was one of the best games I've played in for a long time - we played them off the pitch. Confidence is a big thing here and I think we have it. We are brave on the ball, want to go forward and we are not just playing around and I think that is the difference.
"I think we are creating more chances than last season. I don't see the statistics but the feeling on the pitch is we are creating bigger chances. It is difficult to compare two seasons but it is feeling better now."
The vital statistics for Rodgers' new way of working since taking over from Dalglish in June may not have improved but they are going from strength to strength individually for Agger.
Previously seen as injury-prone, the 27-year-old is currently enjoying his longest run of Barclays Premier League matches in nearly seven years at Anfield, having made a 13th consecutive appearance against Southampton at the weekend. Agger puts his success down to a change in the way he looks after himself both before and after matches.
"I always enjoy playing football. It is being on the pitch not outside and the last year or so it has been good for me," said the centre-back. "You learn all the time when you are playing football and I am doing some different things than I did a few years ago. I am trying to look after myself better and it is helping.
"It is just things like the way you train, work in the gym, how you recover - and I think that is the most important thing. It is also helping with the team around us, the physios and the manager giving us time to recover because that is always difficult in this league.
"When you are playing so many games it is hard to recover. You need to use the time well and the manager is really good at that."