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Monday, 9 March 2015
Toure: Reds will be stronger after break
Toure believes Liverpool can make the most of a week without a
competitive clash in order to return to action firing on all cylinders
against Swansea City next Monday.
The Reds were held to a 0-0 draw by Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup
quarter-finals at Anfield on Sunday, meaning a replay at Ewood Park now
awaits Brendan Rodgers' side.
Stalemate against the well-drilled Championship outfit came on the back of two impressive Barclays Premier League triumphs for Liverpool at Anfield, over Manchester City and Burnley.
Following the draw with Rovers, Rodgers admitted that recent
exertions may have detracted an element of 'sharpness' from his team's
play in the cup fixture.
However, the Reds now have no games until they visit the Liberty
Stadium in a week's time - and Toure is confident of a return to winning
ways when the Premier League clash comes around.
"We've played three games in a row which were tough games," the centre-back told Liverpoolfc.com.
"I think we dealt with that very well. Now we'll just relax a little
bit and come back strong because the next game is going to be really
Toure confirmed his teammate Martin Skrtel was doing 'OK' after being stretchered from the field against Rovers.
The Ivorian began proceedings on the substitutes' bench, only to be
called upon after a mere 10 minutes of play in the game after Skrtel
collided with Rudy Gestede in an aerial duel.
post-match that the No.37 was 'fine' and set to undergo tests at the
local hospital as a precaution, while later on in the evening the
Slovakian himself took to Instagram to confirm he was well after the incident.
"Martin is OK. I saw him [after] the second half and he was looking
fine," said Toure. "Always, when I am on the bench, I am just preparing
my mind to come in, because you never know in football.
"When we started the warm-up, I told the guys I needed to do a
massage. I went in before everybody to do my massage and get prepared.
But I was not expecting to come on that early.
"I'm just enjoying my time right now, giving everything I've got and
every time I'm out there, I just try to help the team to win games or do
my best for the team."
Toure had the ball in the back of the Blackburn net just after the
half-hour mark when he latched onto Daniel Sturridge's deflected header
to hammer the ball beyond Simon Eastwood; however, the linesman had his
flag up and the goal was ruled out.
He also struck the post with a header when Philippe Coutinho lofted a
free-kick into the opposition penalty area during the second half as
Liverpool failed to convert an all-important goal from a handful of
At the other end of the field, Simon Mignolet produced a stunning
save from Alex Baptiste's header, leaping high to hook the ball to
safety before it could hit the back of the Kop net - and Toure singled
out the moment for particular praise.
"Simon is a great goalkeeper," explained the 33-year-old. "I was
expecting him to be better [than the start of the season] and what he's
doing right now is amazing.
"On the header that they had, the save he made was crucial. I think
he's been outstanding. Every time Simon is fine, the team is very strong
"It was very important to keep the clean sheet. Right now I think
we're playing really well as a team and we defend very well. We were
unlucky not to score the crucial goal.
"We created some chances and in the second half we played better. We
were all over them, but give credit to them, they defended very well and
they played as a team, which made us draw the game today."