James Milner admits Liverpool still haven’t addressed the lack of confidence that is threatening their top-four place in a “strange season”.
A third successive home defeat having lost to Brighton 1-0 three days earlier, it came just a week after Liverpool had shown signs of recovering from recent poor form with back-to-back 3-1 wins in London at Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
And vice-captain Milner acknowledges the Reds must regain consistency if they want to arrest their decline from last season.
“After a bad run of results, a couple of (good) performances doesn’t change everything,” he said.
“You can’t do it for a game or two and then drop off it again, so it is a process and it shows how difficult football is and how outstanding we’ve been over the last two years with the levels we’ve set.
“We’d dropped that level and once you lose that confidence and that rhythm it’s difficult.
“It makes you look back at the last few years and how good we’ve been, a ‘results machine’ if you like, and that’s not easy.
“It’s a strange season and things are different this time on the field as well as off the field, so we’ve just got to deal with it as best as we can and stick in there like everyone else.”
Despite their recent travails, Liverpool can leapfrog Leicester City into third place with a win at the Foxes on Saturday.
And Milner, speaking to the official Liverpool FC matchday programme, has reiterated the importance of the Reds regaining their self-belief.
“I think confidence is important in anything you do,” he said. “You can’t just say ‘Be confident’ as it doesn’t happen like that.
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“At the time you feel as though you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing before but things haven’t come off, goals haven’t been going in and things like that – you’re giving away one chance in the game and the other team score.
“But that’s football. That’s the beauty of it and that’s why we love it at times when it’s going well and hate it at times when it’s not going for us.”