Coutinho inspired by Reds stars

  • Last Updated: March 15 2013, 14:02 GMT

Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho has been inspired by the "phenomenal" talents of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard and Suarez inspire Coutinho
Gerrard and Suarez inspire Coutinho

In the short time since he joined from Inter Milan in January the Brazil international has had chance to assess his new team-mates and believes they are 'out of this world'.

"Suarez is phenomenal - he is otherworldly," said the £8.5million signing.

"The goals he scores, the way he gives himself to the team...it is very important and I am very happy to be able to play next to him.

"I think it's the way he gives himself to the team. He doesn't let one ball go - even if it's the hardest one.

"He fights all the time to win and I admire that in a player. I think it is one of his strong points.

"I'm not only happy to play next to him, but also other players like Steven, who is phenomenal too. These are guys from another world!"

The 20-year-old has hit the gym in order to be able to cope with the physicality of the Premier League but has already made an impact, scoring once and providing two assists in just 202 minutes of football.

Gerrard has already hailed the youngster's "moments of magical brilliance" but Coutinho has been quick to understand that while Suarez, with 29 goals this season, and Gerrard are the key men there is a wider picture.

"What I have noticed in the last few weeks here is that the whole group is very united, strong and fights for their aims," he told liverpoolfc.com.

"I hope I can learn more and more with my team-mates here."

While the Brazilian hopes to get up to full speed as soon as possible, manager Brendan Rodgers is likely to cut him some slack after admitting his team-mates took a while to fully grasp the concepts he is instilling at Anfield.

The Reds boss, however, praised their courage for committing to the plan without question when he arrived in the summer.

That commitment and belief in the system is now starting to pay dividends as the side recorded a third successive league victory for the first time since May 2011 with Sunday's win over third-placed Tottenham.

"What we are seeing is the characteristics of the team, which is control and domination, but also a real steel to the defensive unit and everyone working for the cause and that is very important at the moment," said Rodgers.

"We are trying to form new ways of working and it is not easy for players, especially if you have worked a certain way with a certain manager and you bring in another manager who is a different man who works tactically different.

"There were some teething problems but staying calm was important for us.

"It is never easy. You want players to get on the ball and play but on the other side of that is to show your steel.

"In order to co-ordinate that it takes a bit of time but thankfully everyone has been really positive.

"You have to give credit to the players because they have continually believed and seen the development.

"You look at the quality of some of them but aligned to that is their courage.

"I inherited some very good players here but this season was a transition in many ways because of finances and there were management issues which I had to undertake coming in which were not just on the football operation.

"But the players have coped really well and slowly we have made a few additions and we hope we can do likewise in the summer.

"If we can do that over the course of the summer as each window goes by you start to see more of your type (of player), but that's taking nothing away from the players because they've been outstanding."

Liverpool head to struggling Southampton looking to maintain their winning run and try to close the seven-point gap on the top four but Rodgers stressed they were focused only on the next match.

"We can't get too far ahead of ourselves," he added.

"The second part of the season has been outstanding. We had a tough game physically and mentally against Tottenham and this week has been about getting refocused and re-energised for Southampton."


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