Rodgers: Sturridge has lifted Liverpool
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes new signing Daniel Sturridge has already significantly enhanced his side.
The England striker, signed from Chelsea for #12million at the start of the month, has made a flying start for the Anfield club with goals in each of his first three appearances.
Sturridge has also linked well with star forward Luis Suarez and Rodgers thinks his movement can bring the best out of other players.
Rodgers said: "We've actually played exactly the same system we've played before but good players make that system richer.
"Good players can read each other, players with intelligence can move and play with each other.
"Daniel has got great presence in the team and it gives any team confidence when you know you've got goalscorers in your group - you've got a chance to win games.
"The flexibility and cohesiveness last week was impressive and it is only early days.
"Good players want to play with other good players and we've brought in an exceptional player. I think he's given them a lift."
Liverpool, seventh in the Premier League, have a tough week ahead with a trip to Arsenal on Wednesday followed by a game at champions Manchester City next Sunday.
Before that they must negotiate a passage past npower League One strugglers Oldham in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend.
Rodgers intends to make changes for the tie at Boundary Park but is wary of the importance of winning trophies to the club and has still vowed to take a strong squad.
He said: "It is a different priority but we would still want to win a trophy.
"We want to progress in the league and get into those top-four positions.
"It is going to be immensely difficult for us but we will certainly fight.
"The cup competitions give you that opportunity to get your hands on a trophy.
"That is what the club is based on. The history of this football club is about winning, when you come here second is no good.
"Over many years they have achieved trophies and great accolades.
"This is a competition we would like to do very well in."
Goalkeeper Jose Reina will be one major absentee as he is given longer to overcome a thigh strain and Brad Jones regularly deputises in cup ties in any case.
Rodgers could also have an issue at left-back with Jose Enrique still not fully fit and Glen Johnson also doubtful with a hamstring problem.
Even so, the Reds will still be expected to make easy work of Oldham, who have collected just one point in their last eight games in League One and are 17th in that division.
However, Oldham's FA Cup goal hero Robbie Simpson is relishing another crack at Liverpool.
Simpson gave the Latics a 1-0 lead courtesy of a spectacular long-range effort when the two sides met in last season's third round at Anfield, but the Reds were in front by half-time and a pair of late goals added considerable gloss to a 5-1 scoreline.
A brace from Simpson inspired Paul Dickov's men to the shock comeback win over Nottingham Forest that set up Sunday's Boundary Park clash one step further along the road to Wembley, and the versatile former Coventry and Huddersfield forward feels Oldham's status as the home side may change the complexion of the contest.
He told Press Association Sport: "Last season it was kind of seen as a day out at Anfield, whereas this season we've got them at home and we know how we have done against them in the past.
"It's kind of like `can we beat them?' rather than `let's have a day out'. It's a different mentality, I guess."
Simpson admits he regularly watches his moment of magic in front of the Kop but ultimately feels Oldham were short-changed for their efforts on Merseyside.
"It definitely was an unfair reflection," he said. "We went in at half-time 2-1 down, looking at each other saying `how are we 2-1 down?'.
"We played some really good stuff and if we'd gone in 1-0 it would have been deserved. They got a lucky deflection for their equaliser just after I scored and then they got given a penalty which was a little dubious.
"In the second half we came out in the first 10 or 20 minutes and had a couple of opportunities. It was the last 20 minutes of the game where they scored three goals in quick succession. It didn't reflect the game."
Latics boss Dickov will stick with an unchanged squad for the tie.