Liverpool assistant manager Sammy Lee believes the imminent return of star striker Fernando Torres will add fresh impetus to the Reds' Barclays Premier League title bid.
Torres has not featured since the end of November due to a hamstring problem which has dogged him for months, but is an outside bet for a place on the bench for Friday's clash with Bolton at Anfield.
"When you have a world-class performer ready to come in, then of course it makes you better, and gives everyone a lift," Lee said.
It is testament to Liverpool's all-round improvement this season that they have managed to remain top of the league despite Torres' injuries, which have limited him to just five goals so far this term.
But with the Spaniard now approaching a comeback, Lee is confident Rafael Benitez's table-toppers can only improve.
"The class of Torres would obviously be missed by any team, and when he's available for us he'll be a massive addition. I know that at the start of the season no-one else thought we could be top of the table, but we did," he added.
"We don't prepare for failure, we believed we could be top, and we believe we can stay there. We're not surprised at the position we're in.
Lee added: "Torres is improving. He's been working very, very hard with his rehabilitation.
"As regards the Christmas period, I will say his rehab is coming on well.
"You have to try to take the positives from any negative situation. It wasn't nice to have him injured or missing but that's football. It's the nature of the game, and he has had a break and will be back fresh now."
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