Jürgen Klopp sees plenty to be positive about in his Liverpool team but admitted there are improvements required after two points were frittered away at Arsenal.
The Reds deservedly established a two-goal lead at Emirates Stadium on Friday night through a Philippe Coutinho header and Mohamed Salah’s 15th Premier League strike of the season.
But, in a frantic five minutes at the other end, the visitors’ defence was breached three times in succession and a dominant position was transformed into a scoreline deficit.
Klopp’s men composed themselves sufficiently to restore parity through Roberto Firmino, yet Liverpool nevertheless departed north London disappointed with the overall outcome.
Speaking to the media after the final whistle, the manager accepted his side’s tally of eight league draws is too many and acknowledged errors must be eradicated quickly.
“There are so many positive things I could say about this team. It is only a little bit difficult to do so [now],” he commented.
“I saw the game. How can we play football like this, pass like this, attitude, run like this, and then we get this [result]? It feels not fair, but it is fair because we made the mistakes.
“We are a team, so if one makes a mistake and the other one cannot help, we are responsible. I am responsible, how I said always, and I feel it. But the performance was good and we need to perform – if we perform we will stay [fourth], or we can climb. If we don’t perform we don’t deserve it, so we are under pressure, our own pressure.
“The boys have real potential; mix it up with attitude [and] it is quality. It was quality [against Arsenal]; not for a result but enough for a good performance.”
Klopp continued: “It was draw number eight and we should have won, like all the other draws. In the development, that’s a very important thing.
“In a very difficult league, performance-wise we are really consistent so far. If we stay consistent and avoid our mistakes, mistakes like [on Friday], we will win much more games than we lose or draw.
“As it was and so it will be against Swansea, we have to perform first of all and then we have to see how the other team can react.”
The Premier League campaign has reached its halfway point with Liverpool occupying the final Champions League qualification position after 19 games, as they did after 38 last term.
While leaders Manchester City have opened up a healthy lead at the summit of the table, there is congestion in the chasing pack – with Manchester United and Chelsea above the Reds, and the Gunners, Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur immediately below.
“This year, I don’t think that anyone apart from Manchester City and maybe Manchester United are thinking too much about how they can win the league,” said Klopp.
“We have to qualify for the Champions League. We have to finish as high as possible.
“It looks like we could be second, third or fourth this year, that’s a fantastic situation. Not the dream but a fantastic situation. That’s what we are working on and for this we have to improve in all departments.”
Swansea City make the journey to Anfield on Boxing Day mired in a relegation battle and having parted company with manager Paul Clement earlier this week.
But the same opponents shrugged off a similar predicament in the corresponding fixture of last season to snatch a surprise 3-2 win at the home of the Reds.
“They are under pressure and that’s clear because they fight for the league, 100 per cent, and that will not change before Boxing Day,” added Klopp.
“But we will be ready and we will perform, if possible, like [against Arsenal] and avoid the mistakes we made. I don’t really remember the game from last year, to be honest. I remember that we lost it. But that’s not the plan for Boxing Day.”