The Reds have lost three of their five games this term, and currently sit 11th in the Premier League.
He told reporters: "If I look at the corresponding games last season, there's only a one point difference and we ended up doing okay. We know we need to be better, we know we need to improve our performance levels.
"The derby gives us an opportunity to do that - it provides a platform to go on a good, consistent run. Last season, we had a great spell after our win [in January].
"They're a good side, with very good players. They're different to us, but they've got a lot of quality .They've probably not got the results they've wanted, but Roberto Martinez is an excellent manager."