Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho says he has improved as a footballer since moving to Anfield from Inter Milan in January.
21-year-old Coutinho, who has one cap for his native Brazil, arrived from the San Siro in an £8.5m deal during the January transfer window and went on to quickly establish himself as a firm fans' favourite with a series of excellent attacking displays.
"I think I have changed my style of game quite a bit and I have improved a lot defensively," he told the club's official website. "There are many things that I try to improve because the football here is played differently - like thinking faster - but I think I have improved my style of play since arriving here."
Liverpool begin their 2013/14 Premier League campaign with a home fixture against Mark Hughes' Stoke City on Saturday afternoon and Coutinho, whose versatility in the final third should prove vital to the Reds as they attempt to achieve Champions League qualification this season, is fully aware of just how crucial it could be that Brendan Rodgers' men get off to a positive start.
"It is always very important to start the season with three points and we have prepared ourselves for that," he said. "We want to win regularly this season, starting on Saturday. We will give our best, I believe every player thinks the same way, and we will try to start with three points.
"As I said before, we had good games last season and the most important thing is to maintain consistency. We will try to get as many points as possible in the beginning of the season and hopefully in the end we will get the benefits from that."
Liverpool's hopes for the season ahead may rest largely upon the future of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker is reportedly unsettled at Anfield after the club refused to sanction a move to domestic rivals Arsenal.
However, after a period in which he was forced to train away from the first team, it has been reported that the controversial 26-year-old has issued an apology to the club.
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