Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, wants his players to keep the midweek collapse at Queen's Park Rangers in mind and treat it as an experience to learn from.
Liverpool capitulated at Loftus Road, conceding three in the final 13 minutes, but Dalglish preferred to focus on the positives. "Any defeat is difficult to take but it is more difficult to take when you play as well as they did the other night," he said. "But they have to get over it and take confidence from the 77 minutes they were magnificent. We won't be erasing the last 13 minutes from our memory but we will work hard to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"For us so much of it was excellent the other night. Just putting the final part to the excellent work they have done is probably the most difficult part of anything."
Dalglish brushed aside suggestions his side's hopes of a top-four finish were over as they now trail Tottenham by 12 points with nine matches remaining. He insists there is no reason to realign their targets as they prepare to face another struggling side, Wigan, at Anfield today. "Whatever we set out to achieve at the start of the season has not changed," he said. "What we said was we would try our best to win every game and we will continue to do that."
Dalglish sees no reason for knee-jerk changes – or blooding youngsters, as some have called for – after Liverpool's fourth defeat in their last five Premier League matches. "Come tomorrow against Wigan we will do exactly the same," he said. "They are in a bit of a pressure situation – it is the stage of the season when they want to be winning games – but so are we because we have our pride.
"We know Wigan will have a bit of possession as they like to keep it and move it about. They have played well in the last couple of games, against Norwich and West Brom, and are undefeated in six games. We have to be patient. We can't get frustrated or agitated.
"We will have to work hard to get the ball back off them and when we get it back we have to punish them."
Liverpool right-back Martin Kelly is expected to be fit after having been forced off with injury at QPR but fellow defenders Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger and forward Craig Bellamy are all out. Dalglish is still awaiting the results of an assessment on midfielder Charlie Adam's knee problem, sustained at Loftus Road, before deciding whether he can be involved today.Reuse content