Lucas - Reds must improve

Midfielder calls for strength following defeat

Lucas: Calling for improvements

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Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva insists he and his team-mates are well aware that they must improve.

The Reds lost their opening game of the Premier League season on Sunday as they were deservedly beaten 2-1 at Tottenham.

Manager Rafa Benitez was disappointed that Liverpool had two penalty appeals turned down late in the game, but he also acknowledged his side were off the pace.

Ahead of Wednesday's meeting with Stoke at Anfield, which is followed by the arrival of Aston Villa the following Monday, Lucas has echoed the views of his boss.

"We are very disappointed. We came here looking for a good result, but Tottenham played really well," Lucas told Liverpool's official website.

Disappointed

"The first half wasn't good for us and they pressed us really hard. I think if we had kept better possession of the ball it could have been key for us.

"We were better in the second half - we created some chances and could have had a penalty towards the end.

"Although we are disappointed, we now have to look forward to our next two matches at home and hope to take six points.

"We have to improve, we know that. Now we have two matches at home and we know we have to be stronger, especially for our fans.

"We have to try and beat Stoke and afterwards we can think about the next game with Aston Villa. We want to take six points."