Brendan Rodgers lamented a mistake that consigned Liverpool to a 1-0 Europa League defeat to Anzhi Makhachkala but admitted there were plenty of positives to take from the performance.
A defensive slip allowed Lacina Traore to score the only goal right on the stroke of half-time, but reflecting on the overall 90 minutes the manager felt his team deserved more.
In a much changed line-up, U21s captain Conor Coady was handed his first-team debut while Jon Flanagan played his first game of the season after being sidelined through injury.
Addressing his post-match press conference, Rodgers said: "We are disappointed with the result.
"I thought the players gave everything in the game. Tactically our concentration was very good, we controlled the game for 44 minutes and 50 seconds of the first half but then we made a bad mistake and got punished. That's the level.
"It was more of the same in the second half and we had chances. There was real disappointment in the dressing room and I felt for the players tonight.
"Anzhi are a good side with top players, but we held our own, the young players were terrific and we're disappointed not to have got something from it."
Reflecting on the decisive strike from Traore which gave the home side the three points, the boss said: "It was a mistake late on in the half. We just had to do that wee bit better in defending it once he's turned. That's something the players involved know themselves so they don't need to be told.
"The performance level on the evening was very good on a really difficult pitch. The players play the system tactically very, very well and we created chances from it. We just found ourselves unfortunate not to have got something from a very difficult place.
"I must thank the supporters. They were fantastic travelling a hell of a long way and the support they gave us was incredible. We failed to give them something in return but hopefully they'll be proud of the performance in terms of a lot of the young players.
"We just move onto the next game in the group - and it's a game we really focus on looking to win."
Rodgers was quizzed by journalists as to whether the decision to leave the likes of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen behind at Melwood had any bearing on the result.
He replied: "No, not at all. I think that's disrespectful to the players who are here. They have been magnificent and done really, really well tonight.
"We just got punished for a mistake in concentration and that led to us losing the game. It wasn't anything to do with Suarez, Gerrard, Allen, Agger or Skrtel not being here. The players that played did fantastically well. It was just one of those things, but we'll take it as a team. We're disappointed but there are positives from tonight.
"First and foremost, we looked at a different system. We played 3-5-2 tonight. We did some work on it going into the game.
"Tactically over the course of the game the players carried out the game plan very well. It was frustrating for Anzhi in the first half and we had chances to go in front.
"Young Coady made his debut tonight and did very well in that controlling role. For Flanagan it was his first game for a long time."
The boss also had words of encouragement for Joe Cole who came close to getting his first goal in a red shirt on his 31st birthday.
He added: "Joe did very well tonight. His movement was good and it looked more like what Joe can produce in terms of the final third.
"Across the team, there were excellent performances. We're just very disappointed to have made the mistake that eventually led to us losing the game."
Asked by reporters how the result affects qualification for the next phase of the competition, Rodgers said: "It's a very tight group. It was always going to go down to the last game. The next one is now a big game for us now against Young Boys."