Liverpool may not have deserved to lose to Arsenal in the FA Cup, but deserved or not, having crashed out of the cup the only concern is what happens next for a side that entered Sunday's match in good form and high on confidence. And for captain Steven Gerrard, what happens next is the chance to prove his side's top four credentials.
"Obviously we’re going away really disappointed with the result, but we can’t be disappointed with how we played," began Gerrard. "Going out of the Cup is a blow but the effort, the attitude and the character was excellent. We created enough chances and really took the game to Arsenal in the second half, but big moments went against us."
Like his manager, there's a certain sense of injustice following Sunday's loss. Rightly, though, there is also a clear focus on the fact there were many positives Liverpool can take from what ended up a disappointing night, and with that comes a determination to keep the confidence high and turn those positives into results in the league.
"There is nothing to be down about," he insisted. "Sometimes you just don’t get what you deserve from games and this was an example of that. We have to move on, dust ourselves off, and go again against Swansea next Sunday. People are talking about us being a top side and rightly so. We need to bounce back quickly—that’s what top sides do after a setback."
"They don’t feel sorry for themselves, they look to the future and focus on getting back to winning ways. I know going out of the Cup won’t have a negative impact on the league. Our home form has been excellent and we need to continue that by taking maximum points at Anfield next Sunday."
Losing to Arsenal in a match where they were the better side may have hurt, but if this Liverpool team are the true top four outfit—and maybe even more than that—that many have begun to believe they are, the positives of the performance must outweigh the negatives of the result and help to fuel a string of victories in the league.
Gerrard at least is saying all the right things. Against Swansea, he and the rest of the squad get the chance to prove there's some real weight behind those statements.