Masch buoyed by Torres return
Liverpool midfielder salutes team-mate
Last Updated: December 17, 2009 12:00pm
Mascherano: Praise for Torres
Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has paid tribute to fit-again team-mate Fernando Torres.
The Spaniard returned from a one-month lay-off in the weekend defeat to Arsenal before starting Wednesday's clash with Wigan on the substitutes' bench.
He came on to score the second goal in a 2-1 victory and Mascherano is delighted to have him back.
Mascherano is confident the Reds can enjoy a successful second half to the season if Torres and talismanic captain Gerrard both steer clear of injuries.
"It is so important for us that Fernando stays fit," the Argentine told Liverpool's official website.
"We know that we can win games when he is not playing but, equally, when he is on the pitch, you can see the respect that other teams give him.
"He causes them so many problems. With Fernando and Stevie (Gerrard) on the pitch, we know that there is always a chance something special can happen.
"It is so good for our team and the confidence they give us. When they are not in the squad, others have to do their job and David Ngog has been doing his job really well.
"But the key players are the key players and you cannot change that. We need to keep the key players fit for the rest of the season."
Liverpool are currently sixth in the Premier League table and Mascherano recognises the significance of getting another good result against Portsmouth this Saturday.
"The most important thing was to win because we needed it," said Mascherano regarding the Wigan match.
"We want to play better and improve, so it is important that we keep going.
"We will see if we can win at Portsmouth and if we can do that, it will be three amazing points.
"There has been a little bit of pressure but top players have that all the time.
"We cannot forget that Stevie and Fernando have been coming back from injury and it is important to have them in the squad as they are important for us."