Mascherano coping with pressure

Argentine also has praise for continued development of Ngog

Mascherano: Tense times

Liverpool's Javier Mascherano is using the tense experience of only narrowly qualifying for the World Cup with Argentina to deal with pressure at club level.

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The midfielder just reached next summer's international finals in South Africa after a nerve-shredding qualifying campaign with his country.

Mascherano is therefore using that experience to deal with the expectation as Liverpool struggle to meet the minimum target of a place in the Premier League's top four.

Rafa Benitez's Reds recorded only their third win in 10 league games to move sixth in the table with a victory over Wigan in midweek and the 25-year-old hopes for more ahead of Saturday lunchtime's trip to Portsmouth.

"We were talking about this (Argentina's struggles) and it has been good for me to have that experience," said Mascherano in the Daily Mirror.

"The pressure with Argentina to get them into the World Cup was worse. Not because it is my country and Liverpool are my club, but because here you have a little bit more time to do the right things.

Impress

"We know that we have to keep winning if we want to be in the top four, but we have a game every week to do that.

"With Argentina, I would go for two games then have three or four months to wait for the next one to put things right."

Mascherano also has high praise for David Ngog as the young striker continues to impress in his development this season after scoring the opener in the 2-1 win over Wigan when starting ahead of the rested Fernando Torres.

"David has taken his chances really well and it is very important for him," said Mascherano.

"It's not easy to play all the time if people are expecting David to do the same job Fernando does.

"That is just not possible, so he is under pressure all the time. But quietly he is doing a good job.

"When he has had to play, he has scored goals. He is trying to do the right thing and he is doing well for us and the manager."