Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers spoke of his pride following the Reds' thrilling 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Wednesday night, insisting that performances like the one at the Emirates Stadium prove his side are heading in the right direction.
Rodgers' men found themselves with a two-goal lead after an hour in London, courtesy of yet another Luis Suarez strike and a superb individual effort from midfielder Jordan Henderson.
A fast response from the Gunners through Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott forced the Reds to settle for a point from their journey south - but the manager was in a positive frame of mind post-match.
Asked for his immediate analysis by reporters, the Northern Irishman reflected: "My overriding emotion is of real pride.
"We played Arsenal earlier on in the season and we were disappointing. I always felt this game would be a benchmark of how we've been progressing.
"It's a game we should have won - we didn't but we showed great resilience and quality and had other chances to get other goals. I'm very proud of the team.
"I think we probably didn't keep it at 2-0 for long enough. I was trying to get Jose Enrique on down the left because Luis had ran out of steam a little bit.
"He has a great capacity to work but that was his first time playing in that role. But Jose couldn't get his boots on and all that sort of stuff, and within five minutes it was two each.
"It's just something that can happen - Arsenal are a wonderful team. We're disappointed it went to 2-2 but we showed great resilience and actually could have even won it."
Suarez, who now has 22 goals for the campaign, claimed an advantage for the visitors within five minutes of kick-off at the Emirates - a scenario Rodgers is keen to repeat, particularly after the weekend defeat by Oldham.
The boss continued: "Sunday was more my fault than theirs. I'm a great believer in young players - we've put a lot of trust into them.
"The problem is if I put them in and I maybe don't have some of our big players, it's difficult. That was how it was for us on Sunday and we're obviously disappointed to go out.
"But I never had any second thoughts about us getting a reaction. These players have been brilliant and they're improving all the time. Tonight was another performance to show evidence of that.
"We've tried to reinforce the message about starting well - we were terrific at Manchester United in the second half but we didn't start well.
"For 70 minutes at Tottenham we were terrific but we gave ourselves too much to do. And at the weekend against Oldham we started poorly.
"Tonight it was always going to be important that we started on the front foot. That gave us our momentum, confidence and rhythm in the game - I was really pleased we did that."
Liverpool have yet to register a victory over any of the Barclays Premier League's top six - but that statistic is no concern for Rodgers, who cited the ongoing improvement he has observed as cause for optimism.
"I'm not overly worried - we should have beaten Manchester City earlier in the season, we arguably could have won tonight," said the 40-year-old.
"Hopefully people can see, but more importantly I can see, the group getting better all the time.
"We can go to Manchester City and win, and if we end up with four points from these two games that will show we're really pushing in the right direction."
Part of the Reds' progress has involved strengthening the playing squad during the January transfer window, with Philippe Coutinho following Daniel Sturridge through the doors at Anfield.
Quizzed about his brand new Brazilian recruit, Rodgers commented: "I love players who can make the difference at the top end.
"He's a young player with over 100-odd appearances, a lot of them at the top level. I've known about him since he was 15 years of age and watched him come through for Brazil.
"He's a wonderful talent and a great technician, he's got pace, strength and power. He's flexible - he can play in midfield or off the sides. He's a really exciting player and another great product to come into the league.
"I'm really looking forward to developing him and seeing him work. I got a good insight into him last year when he was at Espanyol, he's a real talent and a good, young, exciting player - but also a real good professional and that's key as well."
Managing director Ian Ayre reported that the Reds had beaten other clubs to Coutinho's signature, and Rodgers pointed to the history of Liverpool as a major selling point to players.
"There was big interest but a club like Liverpool will always attract top players because of the history of the club," the boss said.
"Even though we're not where we want to be, the history of this club will always get top players wanting to come.
"It was a real coup for us because Inter Milan didn't want to sell him, but when we thought he could become available we did everything we could to get him in. Thankfully he's chosen to come to Liverpool."
Continuing on the theme, the Northern Irishman talked of his pleasure at the business Liverpool have conducted over the past month and suggested that the incomings have concluded.
Rodgers added: "Daniel Sturridge has been absolutely fantastic since he came in and you can see what he's added to the team.
"Coutinho is coming in as a young player who has got a lot of experience but a lot of potential as well. He's someone who can come in straight away and play because he's got the games.
"The owners have been brilliant and very supportive of what we're trying to do. As each window goes on, we'll get better and better.
"I don't think there'll be any more coming in [in January]."
The manager also reserved glowing words for a man who arrived at Anfield a long time ago - Jamie Carragher. The veteran defender turned 35 on Monday, but has excelled at the centre of the Reds' back four in each of the last two league games.
"I can't give Jamie enough credit, he was 35 on Monday and he's so fit - he looks after himself ever so well," Rodgers enthused.
"I can't speak highly enough of him, both as a professional football player and as a human being.
"He's been incredible for me in my time at Liverpool. Both he and Steven Gerrard - any manager going into any club would want these two guys to be right behind them.
"The support that Jamie and Steven have given me in this role and how we want to push forward has been incredible.
"Carra is a guy who was one of the top defenders in European football for five or six years. Maybe in the last 18 months he hasn't played as much as he would have liked, but it got to a point with me watching him in training every day and in games where I couldn't leave him out.
"I needed that organisation and leadership quality - and he's given us that."
Further up the field, Henderson notched a second strike in as many league games through a combination of sheer determination and well-timed skill, capitalising on a fortunate rebound to make it 2-0 on the hour.
Rodgers revealed his delight at the recent progress of the 22-year-old.
"Jordan's improving all the time. He's got a great appetite for the game," the boss concluded.
"I was talking to him afterwards just about the final ball or final pass, but he's got a wonderful appetite and tactically he's getting better all the time.
"I believe he'll be a great signing for Liverpool but it just takes time.
"If you look back down the years at Liverpool, players used to come in and they'd go into the reserves for two years and then come out and play.
"These kids are coming in aged 18, 19 and 20 and having to go straight into the team. It takes a bit of time but Jordan has really shown he's going to be a very good player."