Kenny Dalglish insists Liverpool have made progression this season - but accepts his side need to be more clinical in front of goal if they're to take the next step forward.
The Reds take on Wigan Athletic on Saturday aiming to bounce back from a midweek defeat at Queens Park Rangers in which they conceded three times in the final 13 minutes to lose 3-2.
Dalglish doesn't believe fatigue contributed to the result - but feels his side could have made certain of a win had they been able to finish off the numerous chances they created at Loftus Road.
He told journalists at Melwood: "The performance the other night was excellent for 77 minutes and then we lost three goals, but we were delighted with the way they played.
"The disappointing thing about the result also was that Seb (Coates) scored a great goal that could win goal of the season, but it's not got a mention.
"We'll try to remain as positive as we can, but also realistic. We know we're capable of playing decent football, but we've got to finish it off."
He added: "They (the players) are as fit as anybody and probably fitter than most," said the boss. "We've had more success in cups than in the league, but the performances have probably been better in the league than they have in the cups.
"It was never going to be a 24-hour make up - it was going to be longer than that.
"We have made progression. The last bit is always the most difficult bit and that's where we're at - we're just trying to get the last bit correct."
Statistics show Liverpool have won the most number of corners in the Premier League this term and conceded the fewest.
Dalglish said: "And I don't think there is anybody who has hit the woodwork as often as us, and I don't think there is anyone who has missed as many penalties as us. The stats are there to be twisted and turned to suit your own argument.
"We know they (the stats) are there. We are realistic and we're honest in our appraisals. We'll just keep doing what we're doing and just hope we get the finishing touches to what we've done because the disappointment is for the players, not with them.
"We've got one bit to go and that's to put the finishing touches to the work they've done and the really good build up play."
With nine games remaining for Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League and an FA Cup semi-final against either Sunderland or Everton to play, reporters asked Dalglish whether now was an opportunity to blood some of the Reds' younger players in the league to give them senior experience.
The manager replied: "If you assume fourth place has gone, it would be, yes - but we haven't. We'll just keep going, keep playing every game and try to get as much as we can from every one.
"If we have to play kids then we'll play the kids, it's not a problem."
Liverpool will be seeking an instant return to winning ways against a Wigan side who are currently 19th in the table.
Dalglish, however, knows the Latics will provide a tough test for his players, though he is eager for the Reds to give the home fans something to shout about.
"It's a difficult game. They've been unlucky - they played well at Norwich and last week against West Brom," he said.
"They are in a wee bit of a pressure situation, but so are we. We've got our pride and we've got the punters we're going to play in front of to please.
"They're going to have a bit of the ball because that's the type of team they are. We can't get frustrated or agitated when they're passing it about and as long as they're not getting through us, we'll be doing our job properly.
"When we get it, we'll want to be aggressive, positive and score a few goals."