Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool must keep winning to restore their confidence as they prepare for Tuesday's League Cup third round tie at Leeds United.
The trip to Elland Road might not have registered too high on Rafael Benitez's list of priorities if the season had started as planned for the Reds. But two defeats in their opening three Premier League matches - 2-1 at Tottenham and 3-1 at home to Aston Villa - have put the Anfield club in a different mood altogether.
Benitez's team continue to look shaky at the back despite putting together four successive wins since the defeat to Villa. Liverpool captain Gerrard acknowledges that the early losses landed a blow to the Reds' self-belief and, although Benitez is likely to make some changes against the League One side, who were once bitter top-level rivals, he lacks the squad size to change his line up completely.
The Spaniard has frequently used the competition to blood youngsters and the likes of Nabil El Zhar, David Ngog and Jay Spearing could all feature against Leeds. Benitez is also likely take the chance to give some playing time to Fabio Aurelio as he continues his comeback from injury, and fringe players Philipp Degen, Andriy Voronin, Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Andrea Dossena could also be involved.
Gerrard admits that the Reds must continue their winning form to re-build their spirit. "We are building confidence slowly and we're certainly playing better now than we were at the beginning of the season when the two defeats were a bit of a blow," he said. "We've recovered and hopefully we can go on a long run of results now."
After expressing a desire to return to his former club Ajax earlier this month, Ryan Babel may also be given a rare start. And even though Fernando Torres earned the plaudits with two goals in the 3-2 victory at West Ham on Saturday, the Spanish striker was quick to praise Babel. The Dutchman sent over a perfect cross for Torres to head the winner and the former Atletico Madrid forward rates Babel highly.
"Everyone knows Ryan is a fantastic player," Torres said. "He played on the right wing and he gave me a fantastic cross which was easy for me to attack the ball and score. It is easy for a striker when the cross is as good as that. He is a player with quality who can do things like this, so without Ryan I couldn't have scored."
This was a Premier League fixture up until Leeds' relegation from the Premier League five years ago and the Yorkshire club have slipped as far as the third tier of English football. But they moved top of League One with a 4-1 win over Gillingham on Saturday and the manager Simon Grayson finally allowed his players to discuss the Liverpool tie for the first time.
He said: "Being top of the league gives us a boost going into Tuesday's game and a platform for the rest of the season. "They had to focus on beating Gillingham because the league is their bread and butter and they showed the right attitude on Saturday. We are playing one of the best teams in the world on Tuesday but we will approach the game with a lot of confidence and belief."