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Grujic targets defensive improvement

Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic is working on the defensive side of his game in his bid to earn a starting spot.

The Serbia international made his first start for the club and impressed in a 3-0 win over Derby County in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.

Grujic, 20, said he knew the areas of his game manager Jurgen Klopp wants him to work on.

"When I came from the Serbian league, I didn't really do a lot of defensive things,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

"I know that. The coach here wants me to do more in defence. He has said that. I am trying to work on those kind of things, and adapting to those demands.

"Everyone knows that the Premier League is of the highest standard. It's very fast, very physical, especially for young players."

Klopp's men are on a five-game unbeaten run, which has included victories over Leicester City and Chelsea.

That has made it hard for Grujic to break into a performing midfield featuring Adam Lallana, Georginio Wijnaldum and captain Jordan Henderson.

But Grujic said he was still working hard, eager also to improve his physicality in the Premier League.

"The key thing is that I continue to work in the gym, to work on the physical side of my game," he said.

"I have been focusing on that with our coaching staff at Melwood. I am always in the gym before training, doing some special exercises. I know how important that is."

Klopp's men host Hull City in the Premier League on Saturday.