Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told reporters that his side still have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League if they can win all nine of their remaining Premier League matches, as quoted by the Mirror.
The Reds suffered a first defeat in nine matches in all competitions - not counting the penalty shootout heartbreak in the Capital One Cup final after a 1-1 draw - at Southampton on Sunday, surrendering a 2-0 lead with 25 minutes to play to lose 3-2 at St. Mary's.
That loss leaves the Merseyside club seven points off a place in the top four, albeit with a game in hand, with just nine matches of their league season remaining.
With current fourth-placed side Manchester City faltering, the door has been opened to clubs including West Ham United and Manchester United to seize the chance to force their way into the reckoning for a Champions League spot.
Klopp believes that his side can yet make a claim for a top-four finish, but only if they take matters into their own hands by winning all of their remaining matches and hoping teams above them slip up.
The German told reporters after Sunday's defeat, as quoted by the Mirror: "I'm not that good a loser so I don't feel brilliant, as you can imagine. But I've been around long enough to know this can happen in football.
"There are still 27 points to be won and if we can get all of them, there is still a chance of finishing in the top four. If not, it will be difficult. If we play like we did in the first half, we can win – if we play the way we did in the second, it is more difficult. That is all.
"I'm not angry, but I am frustrated that we got nothing for a very good first half – we showed again that we can be a real brilliant side but we didn't take the points, which is what matters."
Liverpool, who are ninth in the Premier League table, have a game in hand over City, United and West Ham in the race for European qualification, and two in hand over Southampton and Stoke, who sit seventh and eighth respectively.
Qualifying through the league isn't the Reds' only hope of reaching the Champions League, however, with the club also in with a chance of reaching the competition through triumph in the Europa League, although they must first get past Klopp's old side Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-final stage after the international break.
Liverpool have only finished inside the top four in one of the last six seasons, and this season was the first in which they took part in the Champions League since 2009-10, although they dropped into the Europa League by finishing third in their group.