Liverpool’s Champions League hopes were left in tatters on Tuesday night, as the Reds fell to a 1-0 defeat to relegation threatened Hull City at the KC Stadium.
Liverpool remain seven points adrift from fourth placed Manchester United, and must now concede that a spot in the elite European competition is now little more than a dream.
Brendan Rodgers’ boys failed to create a clear sight of goal, and the result means that the Merseyside club have won just four points in their last five games – highlighting just how poor their form has been at the business end of the season.
The Reds boss has blamed his side’s lack of “killer instinct” in the final third on the defeat to Hull, which he claims defines their disappointing season.
“We just lacked that killer instinct in the final third,” Rodgers was quoted by the Express as saying.
“We are disappointed with the goal. Apart from that we didn’t have too many chances against us. It was poor defending from us. We didn’t come out together and Dawson is onside,” the Northern Irishman continued.
“We were never enough of a threat. It’s been a mark of the season really, in that final third we have struggled.”
The knowledge that Liverpool have scored 47 goals less than they had at this stage of the previous campaign is illustrative of just how difficult they have found life without Luis Suarez and the injured Daniel Sturridge – who between them netted 52 times in the Premier League alone last season.
The 42-year-old, however, insists that his players haven’t given up, and will show fight in their remaining fixtures, despite a place in the top four having all but eluded them.
“I think that’s not the reality of it,” he added.
“Our fight is to perform better through to the end of the season.
“It was always going to be difficult for us. The opportunity was tough this year in terms of where we were at as a team.”