Roy Hodgson believes Fernando Torres has silenced his critics with his match-winning brace against Chelsea, while the striker called on his team-mates to keep the momentum going.
After witnessing Torres score both goals in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Chelsea, Hodgson said the striker deserved the praise he would receive for his performance.
“I am pleased everyone is talking about Torres because they have talked about him negatively and not always correctly because he has not been anywhere near as bad as people would like to suggest,” said Hodgson.
“He has had to take that on the chin and accept all of that so it is great he is getting some plaudits now.
“I thought the first goal was a marvellous piece of teamwork and the second was just a fantastic strike. I could see from the moment he cut inside (Branislav) Ivanovic he was looking for that corner and with the confidence of the first goal behind him he found it. But I think the team will get a good amount of credit and it won’t be put down to entirely one man.
“The midfield and back players put in a lot of good work. In most of the games we have played we have been quite hard to beat but what makes the difference is goals at the other end. Recently we’ve found a little bit of goal form which has given us three straight wins – which in the Premier League is enormous.
“What you are looking for all the time is that bit of extra quality your team has over your opponents and we had that from Fernando, along with a very disciplined and organised performance from the others.”
Torres has been pleased with his side’s improvement in recent weeks.
“We weren’t good enough at the start of the season,” he admitted. “But we thought from the beginning we needed time to work with a new manager and new players.
“Now we have to show against the teams in the middle of the table, or teams who are not as good as Chelsea, we can play this way – with this intensity and quality.
“We have to keep winning. We have won three games in seven days but we have to forget that now and keep getting points.”
Torres has struggled with injuries during the early part of the season but believes he is getting sharper.
He said: “It’s been difficult for me with injuries but I am training every day and every day feeling better and improving.
“I don’t know if I can play my best soon – but I will as soon as possible… I know the expectation I have but I can handle that.”