Brendan Rodgers described Sunday's FA Cup match as every bit as difficult as a Barclays Premier League fixture after his team secured progress into the fourth round with a narrow 2-1 victory at Mansfield Town.
The Reds withstood a second-half barrage from their fifth-tier opponents after new signing Daniel Sturridge had opened his Liverpool account and substitute Luis Suarez increased his season tally to 19.
And the manager explained afterwards how hard games like these can be. "It takes character to come to places like this," he said.
"We've seen over many years in this competition that these games are very difficult. In some ways, they can be more difficult than Premier League games.
"It's a big credit to my players; I thought we showed great character. The game could have been out of sight in the first half with the chances we had. But you've also got to give credit to Mansfield because at 2-0 they kept the game alive.
"There were periods in the second half where we had to show resilience and character. We've seen it over the years in this competition, the big teams going to away grounds of a lower league opponent and coming unstuck.
"Big credit to Mansfield and the town today - the supporters were brilliant and made it a proper cup tie. You're never comfortable. Thankfully we got through and into the next round.
"You've got to show that mentality. We're on a run of games now - we have that winning mentality. We've come out of Christmas with four wins out of five in all competitions. We just want to keep that going."
Asked about the debut performance of Sturridge, the boss declared his pleasure at the 23-year-old's showing and backed the striker to shine further as his fitness improves.
The Northern Irishman continued: "I thought he was excellent. He's nowhere near fit yet, he's come in off the back of an injury and hasn't done a lot of training. I think you saw in that cameo today of 55 minutes his pace, his power and he scored a good goal.
"He probably could have had three goals. It was a good introduction for him, a tough one because Mansfield were very committed. He got his goal and that will give him confidence - he'll look to keep scoring."
The manager was quick to douse any debate surrounding Suarez's goal post-match, with the home side left disappointed by an accidental handball by the Uruguayan.
"It hit his hand, there's no question about that. But it wasn't deliberate," Rodgers explained.
"Straight away I said to the fourth official: 'Was that handball?' He said it was but it wasn't deliberate. Andre [Marriner, referee] didn't deem it deliberate. It's unfortunate for Mansfield because it ends up being the winning goal.
"I'm not sure what people want him to do in that situation. The ball has hit him - that's the job of the officials, to make the decision whether it was deliberate or not. It's not his job.
"If it was someone else, we wouldn't be discussing it to this detail.
"I only like to talk about his talent. It was absolutely not his fault. If it was deemed deliberate, the referee would have disallowed the goal - none of them did, so the goal counts.
"What people are starting to recognise is the ability that the boy has. He's a brilliant talent. He scored one and nearly got one or two more. Now football supporters really recognise him for his qualities - and that's the most important thing.
"He's a wonderful professional - we have to make sure we enjoy it while he's here in this country. He's a brilliant talent, a good man as well - a family man.
"He would have wanted to start the game today, even though he has been my only striker for the last six months. Today was a game that he was up for, because this is street football for him, he enjoys this type of game."
Looking ahead to a fixture list which pits the Reds against Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City away from home in the next month, Rodgers backed his side to be much better than in the reverse encounters at the beginning of the campaign.
He concluded: "They are tough games. We'll be better and in a better condition for those games than we were earlier in the season. We picked up one point from those three games, even though we played well in two. We're really looking forward to it.
"This is a team that's getting better every day and every week. The continuity in our game is getting better - the more we work with each other, the better we become. They're big games and we look forward to it."