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Steven Gerrard on the win and Mario Balotelli's performance

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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says the Reds need time to settle down after the arrival of new players in the summer.

Brendan Rodgers' men showed heart and determination to get all three points against Ludogorets Razgrad but the Englishman believes there is still room for improvement.

"We are very relieved. It was very important to start the competition off with maximum points," Gerrard told reporters after the game.

"I don't think it was a very good performance from ourselves but we have managed to take the three points, which is vital.

"I think we will get better as the season progresses.

"We have a lot of new faces trying to find their feet and settle in and there is a lot of expectancy on us because of how well we performed last year but it will take time to get back to that level - hopefully sooner rather than later.

"Sometimes you have to crawl before you can walk."

Italy striker Mario Balotelli opened the scoring against the Bulgarians, his first goal for the Reds, and Gerrard thinks more goals will follow from the 24-year-old.

"I think it will be the first of many," added Gerrard.

"I thought he worked his socks off.

"You look at strikers and sometimes when it is not going their way they sulk but he was relentless and he stayed in there and that one good chance which came his way he took and it was a great finish."

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