Brendan Rodgers believes the return of Lucas Leiva to Liverpool's midfield on Saturday allowed full-backs Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson to turn in 'unplayable' performances against Southampton.
The Brazil midfielder made his first appearance since August 26 in the 1-0 victory at Anfield, producing a typically assured display during his 88 minutes on the pitch.
Rodgers feels Lucas can help his side further mould their own identity - and help improve their offensive threat by allowing his teammates to get further forward.
"The idea here is to build a team that has a method to it," explained the manager. "We are trying to build an identity here so that over the next couple of years people can come and look at Liverpool and say 'this is how they play'. We pass the ball, we move the ball, we interchange, and we defend as one.
"You see with Lucas - all of a sudden, you put the right profile of player in the right position, and it frees up your offensive threats. He gives us great stability when we haven't got the ball, he intercepts, his transition is good and he gets the ball back quickly.
"He knows the game, and he can read the game.
"With the midfield working like that, it gives your two full-backs the chance to go and join in. I thought Jose Enrique was unplayable [against Southampton], and Johnson too.
"So you see those two bombing on, you've got your controlling midfielder protecting the centre halves in that defensive triangle, your two advanced midfield players joining in in Joe and Steven, and then you've got your front three. That gives you a real creative threat, and I felt we had that today. Today, especially in the first half, was probably the first time it was really there systematically and relentless."
It was Daniel Agger's first-half header that secured the three points against Southampton to move Liverpool into 11th position in the Barclays Premier League table.
Rodgers is confident his charges will only continue to improve over the coming weeks and indeed years.
"We're not far," he said. "It's only seven points to the top four.
"And one thing is for sure; we are going to get better. We are on the move. It's a steep climb for us, but we're climbing steadily, and I would rather do that than be a flash in the pan where we drop off and are back to square one again.
"For us, it's about getting a way of playing in place which will serve us well going forward. We've made changes throughout the club, in the Academy structure this week. Rodolfo [Borrell], who has a way of thinking that is very similar to mine, has moved up and we've got Alex [Inglethorpe] in to coach the reserves.
"That will drip feed its way through the club, and we then have a vision that will serve us well in the future."