Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has praised the atmosphere at the club under manager Kenny Dalglish and urged his team-mates to push up the table in the Barclays Premier League run-in.

The Reds have endured a tumultuous season after struggling for the most part under previous incumbent Roy Hodgson and the financial constraints under which he worked. However, Dalglish's return to the Reds has resulted in an upturn of fortunes that has propelled the side to sixth position in the top flight.

"Everyone can see the atmosphere is very good at the moment," said Lucas. "The results at the moment are also better than before."

He added: "We know how important it is for the club and for the fans so we believe we can do a lot more. We now have just eight games left to play and hopefully we can finish well this season and then see what happens.

"Then we can look to the next season."

Speaking ahead of Brazil's international friendly with Scotland on Sunday, Lucas was also keen to defend former team-mate Fernando Torres.

Much has been spoken about the Spain international since his £50 million January move to Chelsea and his subsequent inability to find the back of the net for his new club.

However, Lucas backed his former comrade and preferred to look to the future with new Liverpool attacker Luis Suarez leading the line.

"Fernando was a very good player for Liverpool," he said. "The atmosphere is very good but it was very good with Fernando as well.

"I don't like to talk about my friend because he is a friend of mine. I hope he will be happy at Chelsea and of course we are now looking at Luis and the player that came is already shining."

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#Fernando Torres
#Kenny Dalglish
#Luis Suarez
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