Tommy Smith: Javier Mascherano was spot on, Liverpool FC must build on Manchester United win
JAVIER Mascherano seems a straight-talking bloke and I couldn't have agreed more with his comments yesterday.
The Reds' Argentine midfielder said that while it was such a great experience to beat Manchester United on Sunday, it will stand for nothing if we don't follow up when we go to Fulham at the weekend.
Exactly. While we have shown once again that we are a match for anyone on our day, to really progress we have got to be able to do it consistently but I also think that the result against United will have a number of positive spin-offs.
I've been critical of some recent performances but there was no reason for complaint on this occasion. In many ways, we were unlucky not to win by four goals.
What pleased me most of all, though, was the fact we played so well and won so convincingly without Steven Gerrard in the starting line-up; don't get me wrong, I'd have loved to ave seen him rampaging through United's defence and causing havoc.
But the fact we were able to win with him sitting in the stands might just be good for those who were out on the pitch; it has proven they can get results without him and perhaps might mean they do not look for him to pull them out of the mire so often.
When you get such a great result, confidence spreads and leaves you ready to meet the next challenge head on and winning in such a high-pressure atmosphere has got to focus the mind.
In some ways, Fulham could be the worst team to face on Saturday, as they are a team that is ticking along nicely, have some good players and never make things easy for those who visit.
If, however, we show the same kind of application and effort, there is every chance we will do what Mascherano says is imperative and follow up with another win; it's absolutely necessary if we want to push on in the league.