Sunderland - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers predicted a late-season charge for his side in their bid for a top-four Premier League finish after they won 1-0 at Sunderland.
Lazar Markovic's first league goal secured victory at the Stadium of Light on Saturday to make it one defeat in 13 games for last season's runners-up, who cemented their hold on eighth place.
Rodgers has loftier ambitions for the rest of the campaign and after pre-season upheaval, the Northern Irishman feels his raft of new players are finally coming to terms with the Premier League.
"We've still got a way to go to get back to our best, but I expect even more because we're a side who get better in the second half of the season," he said.
"There's a lot of talent here slowly feeling its way into the team, and we want to keep that going.
"We've still got Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana to come back from injury as well. We're developing very well and the system's working well.
"Markovic deserved his goal. He has been very good for the past few weeks, and it's just taken time to adapt because there's a bit of spotlight on him and the other summer arrivals after what we did last year.
"It's been difficult for them. They're settling into the philosophy as to how we work and play. I always felt it was going to come, it was just a matter of time, and the first part of the season was difficult for us."
Rodgers confirmed that Steven Gerrard will have a precautionary scan on a hamstring problem that forced the Liverpool skipper off at half-time.
England forward Sterling is set to return for next weekend's league trip to Aston Villa, after a planned break from first-team action.