Liverpool are reeling from a surprise loss to Newcastle United, which leaves them six points off the top four.
He singled out winger Jordon Ibe, who has had an inconsistent season, but remains a player with outstanding potential.
He said: "Daniel Sturridge made such a difference against Southampton on Wednesday and, without him and Philippe Coutinho starting, they lacked flair.
"If you are going to be a top team you need something special and the two special players that Liverpool have got did not start. It was only Jordon Ibe on the right that looked like he was going to do something."
Ibe played for 74 minutes in the loss, substituted for midweek hero Divock Origi as Liverpool chased the game.
He was part of a five man midfield along with Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen, James Milner, and Roberto Firmino.
That is a midfield which sorely missed the benched Jordan Henderson instead of Allen, but in Roberto Firmino they included a player who should have been able to step up and influence the game.
Unfortunately he did not, creating just one chance and failing to record a shot on target, but that was precisely the same record as teammate Ibe. The difference in Ibe's play was down the flank, completing three dribbles as opposed to none from the Brazilian, who struggled to find space to be effective centrally.