Brendan Rodgers assesses Kolo Toure and Lucas Leiva's recent contribution

Lucas Leiva

Toure and Lucas returned to the side as Brendan Rodgers tried to get back to basics in order to turn their season around.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed the impact the experienced duo of Kolo Toure and Lucas Leiva have had on the side, having been called upon to help the Reds revive their season.

Toure and Lucas were recalled to the side for the Reds' Champions League game against Ludogorets in Sofia - which ended in a 2-2 draw, and kept their place in the side for the 1-0 win over Stoke City at Anfield on Saturday in the Premier League.

The pair seem to have brought an element of back to basics to the side as they look to keep themselves in the Champions League and in touch with the Premier League's top four.

Rodgers told the Liverpool website: "I think their contribution has been vital in the last two games. They are players who understand the league, players who are experienced and players who are winners. Both have been outstanding and they haven't played a great deal, but they've come into the team and done very well."

If nothing else, the pair have brought leadership to their respective parts of the midfield. For the first time this season, with Toure at the back it looks as if there is someone willing to constantly talk to the rest of the defence and organise. Though some would say the Ivory Coast international can sometimes lack composure, he certainly makes his voice heard. Having that experience at the back from a man of terrific pedigree when your backs are against the wall can prove vital.

In terms of Lucas, he and Joe Allen seem to have worked effectively alongside one another as they try and protect a defence that has come under an incredible amount of scrutiny and criticism this season - but on Saturday showed that they might be needed to chip in with goals. Lucas had an effort saved by Asmir Begovic whilst Joe Allen hit the cross bar as they went in search of a winner against the Potters.

The indications seem to be that the pair will be used a lot more often in the coming games as the Reds try to build some momentum after their difficult start to the campaign - whether they will face Leicester City tomorrow night remains to be seen, but it looks as though they will be prominent figures in the weeks and months ahead.

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