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The defender also moved to compliment the ability of his rear-guard partners with the Anfield club hoping to clinch Champions League qualification come the season's end

Martin Skrtel hailed manager Kenny Dalglish for Liverpool’s improved defensive displays this season.

The Slovak started the season poorly, by most accounts, but has since found good form at the back, and has also contributed at the other end with two goals.

The defender believes the “top quality” players around him in defence, coupled by his manager's steady influence, means more strength at the back should be on display as the campaign enters the final stages.

"I'm delighted with the way the team had been defending this season," he told LFC Magazine.

"We've kept a lot of clean sheets and that gives defenders a lot of confidence.

"I played every league game last season. But, especially during the first half of the season, I didn't feel as comfortable as I do now.

"I think when Kenny and Steve Clarke came in a lot of things changed, not just for me but for everyone.

"I think you can see that on the pitch this season. As a team we have been better. This year I feel more comfortable at the club than ever before."

Skrtel credits the ability of current defensive partner Daniel Agger for helping his own form improve this season.

"At the moment it's me and Daniel playing. It's easy to play with him. He's a top-quality player and great on the ball.

"The understanding between us is working. Away from the pitch he's a nice guy too.

"We have things in common, such as tattoos and cars - we both have an interest in them and chat about them."

The 27-year-old was quick to praise other teammates, saying any of the four centre-backs in the side are capable and worthy of a starting berth any given week.

"I don't think it's just with Daniel," Skrtel said. "I think I have a good understanding with Carra (Carragher) and Seba (summer signing Sebastian Coates) too - they are all top-quality players.

"It doesn't matter who starts, I think the manager had four good centre-backs to choose from. Any of us can start a game."

Liverpool host Brighton this weekend in an FA Cup fifth-round fixture, a week removed from a tough 2-1 loss at champions Manchester United.

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