Agger hails Skrtel partnership

Dalglish also pays tribute to his watertight back four

Daniel Agger: An integral part of the tightest back four in the Premier League

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Daniel Agger believes his centre-half partnership with Martin Skrtel can provide the foundations for Liverpool to build a top-four challenge.

The Reds have tightened up at the back this season, with just 13 goals conceded in 16 games so far.

That record is the best in the Premier League at present and has Liverpool handily placed in sixth spot.

Only three points separate them from the UEFA Champions League places, and that is where the Reds are setting their sights.

Agger is confident they can hit that target, with the Dane putting his past injury troubles behind him to focus on further strengthening a watertight back four.

"We enjoy playing alongside each other and we complement each other well," he said of his pairing alongside Skrtel.

"We feel good together but, to be honest, the whole team have defended well. It's not only about us. Everyone has made a difference.

Clean sheets

"I'm not thinking about my fitness any more. I give everything in every game and I'll see how long it lasts.

"If you keep clean sheets then it is easy to win. If we keep winning it will say it all and, of course, we can get back into the top four. But there is a lot of work to do."

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has also been quick to salute the impeccably high standards achieved by his defence this season, with the performances of Agger, Skrtel, Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique helping to keep an Anfield legend on the sidelines.

"The fact (Jamie) Carragher has not been playing tells you how well Daniel and Martin are doing," said the Scot.

"Carra also made a contribution to the best defensive record when he was fit. But, since he has been injured, the two lads have done fantastically well.

"It's no surprise. You've got the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, England's right-back, two international centre-backs and probably the best uncapped left-back."