Martin Jol reflects on the break from Premiership action and looks ahead to the visit of Liverpool to the Lane on Saturday...
WE HAVE A lot of international players who haven't been here at the training ground and we managed to have a couple of days off over the weekend before starting again with our work. Luckily for us, Liverpool will have had the same thing and on Thursday all the lads will be reporting back and we can focus on the game.
It is not a lot of time, but the players know what they need to do and it is a big game for us. We were unfortunate against Chelsea and hopefully we can make up for it against Liverpool. They are a good side - we are going from playing the champions to Champions League winners in two games and it will be difficult. If we can play with a lot of confidence, like we did against Chelsea before the sending off, we can do well.
Looking back to the Champions League final in May, I thought it was going to be a disastrous final, maybe the worst for a team ever. It was 3-0 and I thought it might be five or six at the end. They came back, I don't think they did anything particularly differently but they had Steven Gerrard and he is a top class player - the best midfielder in England.
He got going and they took a lot of confidence from his goal and clawed their way back. I think it was one of the best finals we have ever seen.
Another goalscorer in that game, Xabi Alonso, played against us last year and he is a playmaker and is pretty tough as well. He is a good character and, with the styles Liverpool sometimes play, it can be difficult to cope with him as he is the holding player with Gerrard going forward. He is a good player but we have a lot of good players of our own.
Gerrard, when you think back to the Middlesbrough game on the opening day of the season, he had three or four chances he made himself. It was still a draw, but he is one we have to watch. With our crowd backing us all the time we have every chance.
Liverpool have another piece of silverware now with the Super Cup and Rafa Benitez is doing well for them. The league is different and they know that, they had a difficult season last time but are getting better and better. They have made some good signings and are team who can easily finish in the top three in England.
Still missing for us isWayne Routledge who is not fit yet so we don't have a lot of natural width to our team at the moment. I put little Aaron Lennon on against Chelsea and I think we can use him and he can be an important part of our squad.