David Moyes believes Jason Denayer’s long-term future is at centre-back, but for now the Sunderland boss is pleased to see him thriving in midfield.
The Manchester City loanee was deployed in a holding midfield role, with the specific task of man-marking Liverpool dangerman Philippe Coutinho.
Denayer was within five yards of the Brazilian at all times until he was forced off with a bad foot injury, after coming off worse from a block tackle with Didier Ndong.
Coutinho had caused Sunderland’s defence few problems in his 34 minutes on the park, with pacy Denayer doing an excellent job of marshalling the playmaker.
Moyes was impressed with Denayer’s contribution, although he feels the 21-year-old will move back into central defence eventually.
“We sort of put him on Coutinho at the start of the game to try to nullify him,” said Moyes.
“My job was not to come here and to entertain the Anfield crowd, my job was to come here to try to get a result for Sunderland.
“We didn’t get it unfortunately, but we tried hard to do it.
“Jason was disciplined – he’s just getting used to the Premier League and the speed of things.
“We’re pleased he’s beginning to have an impact with us now.
“He played there last week and did a good job and I think he will become a central defender, he may just need a little bit of time.”
Moyes was pleased with the resilience his Sunderland side displayed at Anfield, with the Black Cats making it hard for Liverpool.
Bottom-of-the-table Sunderland have produced better displays on their travels than they have at the Stadium of Light this season.
“In the main, you can say Sunderland have not been easy to beat, not that easy to play against,” added Moyes.
“I’d like to think that’s been the case against Liverpool.
“We’re on the training ground trying to make things better all the time.
“But I think once we got the first win there has been a feeling of confidence.
“We’d been a little bit unlucky a few weeks before at West Ham not to get a result there.
“If you look at our away form, we’d only lost by one at Tottenham, one at West Ham, 2-1 at Man City.”