Liverpool pushed hard for the victory in the final minutes of last night's game against FC Basel, but in the end it wasn't enough. Despite the disappointment, Brendan Rodgers was realistic in his assessment, refusing to try and draw some kind of validation from almost beating Basel in stoppage time at Anfield.
"We're obviously disappointed but we can't have any excuses about not qualifying," said the manager. "The big game for us was away in Basel, where we were disappointing, didn't perform well, conceded a poor goal, and lost out there. We have no complaints. If you deserve to go through and get the points, then you go through."
Rodgers further refused to put too much weight on his side's late push as a positive, given that it came after they weren't good enough to expect to win the match for most of the night. It's not the most heartening of reactions, but at the least it's an honest one that recognises the shortcomings of the Liverpool side he sent out to try and do the job last night.
"In the first half we weren't good enough," he said. "It's as simple as that. Technically, we were way short. This is a compeition, in particular, where technically you've got to be much better than what we were in the first half. Our positioning wasn't good, the options for the guy on the ball weren't anywhere near what we would want and expect.
"In the second half, we were much better on that front and showed more courage to go and play. In the last ten minutes it looked like we could maybe get the goal, [and] we got into some good areas but the final pass just let us down. We have all learned from the experience this season and now we go into the Europa League, and we want to do well in that.
"When that comes around, we'll be really focused and hopefully by that stage our performance level will have improved greatly and we can go on in the second half of the season and do well."