Reds boss pleased with improving Torres

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Roy Hodgson is looking forward to having his talismanic striker back to his sensational best.

Fernando Torres has been out of sorts for Liverpool in the early stages of the campaign, but is making steady progress as he looks to regain his killer instinct.

The Liverpool striker was the subject of criticism after his display in the Reds' 0-0 draw with Birmingham last week, but showed glimpses against Manchester United of the Torres that is feared by defenders around the world.

The Spaniard was somewhat frustrated for the majority of the narrow loss at Old Trafford but - when he did receive the ball in threatening areas - he responded by winning Liverpool the penalty and free-kick that resulted in both Steven Gerrard goals.

And Hodgson believes that the 26-year-old is steadily recapturing his form.

"It was a lot better [than the Birmingham game], there's no doubt about that," Hodgson told Sky Sports.

"Fernando is still a player who needs more games and needs more time and more training. We will get a lot of tremendous use out of him over the course of the year.

"I think he was a lot better than the game against Birmingham, but I don't think he's firing on all cylinders.

"Having said that, we are playing against a very good team in Manchester United who don't surrender the ball to you that often."

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Fernando Torres

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