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Toure defends Liverpool defence ahead of Saints trip
3:34pm Tuesday 25th February 2014 in Football
Centre-back Kolo Toure insists now is not the time to allow criticism of Liverpool's defensive vulnerability affect their run-in.
The Reds' leaky backline is coming under increasing scrutiny after Sunday's 4-3 home win against Swansea made it seven goals conceded in their last three matches.
Liverpool, who face Saints at St Mary's on Saturday, have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 games stretching back to mid-December but Toure, who has had his fair share of recent defensive calamities, believes they still have a grip on their situation.
Victory over Swansea, coupled with Tottenham's defeat at Norwich, means there is a six-point gap - effectively seven with Liverpool's vastly superior goal difference - between the fourth-placed Reds and their nearest rivals for a top-four spot.
They remain four behind leaders Chelsea, but striker Daniel Sturridge's rich vein of form, scoring in his last eight consecutive league games to take his tally to 18, and the enduring quality of Luis Suarez (23 league goals) mean they are confident of outscoring most teams.
"We just need now to keep calm and do what we have been doing, if we continue that we will get the same results," said Toure.
"There are going to be some tough games; Southampton (this Saturday) is a tough place to go but I think we can score goals and defend well as a team and we are working hard."
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet also believes a sensible and composed approach will pay dividends as the season enters its final three months.
"We are in a good position at the moment but with 11 games to go there are still a lot of things that can happen," he said.
"We need to stay calm and just focus on our next game at Southampton. We won't be thinking about what's happened against them in the past.
"The gaffer gives everyone confidence. When you step on to the pitch you know that he's behind you and supporting you.
"Everyone is trying to do their job the best they can and we need to keep doing that until the end of the season."