Lee looking for Reds to tighten grip

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Liverpool assistant manager Sammy Lee is looking for the Barclays Premier League leaders to strengthen their position over the Christmas period.

The Reds currently have a one-point advantage over Chelsea heading into the busy festive schedule. With so many matches in such a short space of time, Lee knows the slightest slip-up can hand the initiative to your rivals.

"Historically, Christmas has always been a crucial period," said Lee. "It is the ones who get the most points in that period that kick-start the new year."

Keeping players fresh and fit at this time of year can make a crucial difference and that is why Lee claimed the club were unhappy about the scheduling of their fixtures.

After Bolton at home on Boxing Day, kicking-off at 3pm, they travel to Newcastle for a noon start two days later.

"You have to make sure you recover well from each and every game," he added. "We are a little disappointed our second game is at noon because every hour counts in recovery time. But that is the nature of the game and we have to make sure we recover well and get as many points as we can out of this period."

Lee has been taking charge of training this week with manager Rafael Benitez convalescing at home after a kidney stones operation.

Benitez's absence from the club's Melwood training ground this week has not affected planning for Sunday's visit to Arsenal.

"The plan of our weeks and months is always well in advance so we knew what we were going to do," said Lee.

"The players have done really well, they have focused and concentrated with all the stuff which has been going on in the background."

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Bolton Wanderers
Premier League

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