Kenny Dalglish today hailed the 'fantastic' contribution of Lucas Leiva - but remains confident Liverpool will cope without the midfielder against Norwich City on Saturday.
The Brazilian has earned rave reviews as one of the Reds' star performers so far this term but misses the visit of the Canaries due to suspension.
Dalglish accepts it is a blow to lose the No. 21 but feels the quality of his squad means he has a variety of replacements at his disposal.
Dalglish told reporters: "We know Lucas can't play. He's suspended but we'll just have to cover it as best as we can.
"He's been fantastic this season for us. On Saturday he was a wee bit unfortunate that I decided to play him after the journey he'd had. It maybe took more out of him than I thought. He's been fantastic for us and it will be a miss, but he'll serve his game and it's up to us to overcome that.
"At the end of the day that's what you have a strong squad for - to overcome injuries and suspensions. This is the first suspension of the season so we have to cover it.
"We have to make sure that, although we are saying he is a loss before the game, we are not saying the same thing afterwards."
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He added: "I can only comment on what he's done since I came in and since then he's been as good as anyone we've had.
"He's done his job fantastically well. He's a really good professional and a good guy in and around the place.
"We are delighted with the rewards he is getting on the pitch and if the fans can recognise what he is doing then that is obviously helpful to him."
Liverpool's performance in last week's 1-1 draw against Manchester United left many pundits suggesting they were unlucky not to take all three points.
Dalglish acknowledges there were many positives to be taken from the encounter and is hopeful his side can now build upon it in the weeks ahead.
"We have our own targets to aim for," he said. "We want to get as high up as we possibly can and we can only do that by producing performances on the pitch. Last week's was certainly encouraging.
"We've been pleased by a lot of things we've done this season. We'll just keep pushing forward. We are where we are because of the games that we have played and the points we've gained.
"Like everyone else, even if you are at the top of the league you would hope for more points. We are no different to anyone else. We'd love to have more points for the effort we have put in this season, but we will just have to get on with it."
The Reds entertain newly-promoted Norwich on Saturday hoping to get back to winning ways and increase pressure on the sides above them.
However, Dalglish has urged his players not to underestimate the threat of the Canaries, who have given a good account of themselves already this season.
"I don't know what other people expect, but I know what we do. We expect as difficult a game against Norwich as Manchester United gave us last week," he said.
"Paul Lambert has done a fantastic job there. They are sitting there pretty comfortable in the league in ninth position. They went to Old Trafford and played very well. I'm sure they will be looking forward to coming here and doing equally well.
"They've done brilliantly."
Asked if he felt Norwich would treat the game like a cup final, Dalglish said: "I don't think anyone has come here and not thought it was like a cup final. So it's no different for us.
"The players and personnel may be new but for us it's straight forward. We'll give them every bit as much respect as we did against Manchester United or Everton the week before. We will never be disrespectful and underestimate the opposition. That includes Norwich and anyone else that we have to play.
"I know Paul from my time at Celtic and I have huge respect for him as a footballer and also as a manager."
Liverpool have already played four league games at Anfield this season but have yet to secure a shut-out.
The boss admits it would be nice to banish that statistic against the East Anglian outfit but remains adamant that victory will always be the priority.
"It was obviously an aim for us to achieve previously," he said. "If you don't lose any, you'll get at least a point from the game.
"But we are happy with most of the things we have done. We just have to keep pushing on. As long as we score more than we have against us, we'll win more games than we'll lose.
"We just have to keep going. The boys are disappointed that we didn't get the three points last week. Maybe that will carry into Saturday and we can try to get three points there."
Dalglish was also quizzed about quotes attributed to Sir Oliver Popplewell, a former judge who oversaw two inquiries into the Bradford fire disaster.
"I don't think he should interfere," said Dalglish.
"It's not comparable. Each one is equally important to the people who have been involved in it, as the other.
"I don't know who he is, or what he said, but certainly the Hillsborough families have been hugely complimented on their dignity and the way they have gone about what they want to achieve. If two people have a different opinion then it isn't to say what is right or wrong, you just do what suits yourself best.
"Our families have been tremendously dignified in their approach and the way they have gone about it. And after 22 years they have been very, very patient and the least they deserve is some comfort."
Dalglish was also asked about the form of Jordan Henderson who produced a bright cameo as a substitute in the draw with Man United last week.
He said: "He'll be here for a long, long time and he's going to be a tremendous asset for us. He's got patience too.
"He's a good player who knows what is required. He's a young boy who has come down from Sunderland and is starting to settle in really well now.
"He'll be a great asset for the football club in the years ahead.
"He's another option for us in midfield this weekend. I've just got to make the right decision."
He added: "I don't know his best position yet, but I know his best club and that's this one. We just want him to play and enjoy playing. He's a talented footballer with a great future in front of him. We are just delighted he chose to come here."