Clarke pleased with Reds start

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With a stylish, attacking verve characterising Liverpool's early season performances, assistant manager Steve Clarke believes Reds fans have every reason to be satisfied with the club's start to the 2011-12 campaign.

With a return of seven points from their opening three games, as well as progression into the third round of the Carling Cup after a 3-1 victory over Exeter City, Clarke insists the players went into the international break high on confidence.

"We're all reasonably satisfied with the start," he said. "Obviously we're two points missing from the perfect start, but if you analyse the performances and how we've done, everybody should be quite happy.

"Each game individually has had pleasing aspects. It was important to go into the international break on the back of a good performance and win. We got that against Bolton, so that's probably been the most satisfying game so far."

In their last outing, Liverpool brushed Owen Coyle's Trotters aside with a convincing 3-1 victory at Anfield, and Clarke is keen to keep the momentum, determined not to let the forced break knock the players off their stride.

And despite many of the first-team squad currently being away from Melwood, Clarke and Co. continue to work hard at the club's training complex in preparation for next weekend's Barclays Premier League encounter at the Britannia Stadium.


"We've got a small group of players [left] here," he continued. "The internationals have gone and it's important for us to manage the players that are here well and make sure they don't lose out on their work on the training pitch and in the gym because we have to keep them fit and ready for the next game.

"We're here, we're working hard and when the international break comes along you've just go to deal with it. From our point of view, we'd like to have them all here working towards the next game, but we don't get them back until the Wednesday before we play Stoke City. From there, we prepare the team for the game.

"The plans have started, but obviously you cannot only work with five players before the game. We'll be watching videos, preparing, and I'll be having a little think about training sessions and what we can do when we get the whole group back together.

"They'll come back Wednesday, most will have played on the Tuesday night and be a little bit tired, so on Thursday and Friday we'll start to nail down a few details for the weekend.

"But we should go into the game in a good moment. We finished the first part of the season on a high, we'll go through the international with hopefully no injuries and then we have to get ready for a couple of difficult away games."

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