Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his players were served a dose of reality this week and he hopes they have learned they cannot afford to be the slightest bit complacent.
An unexpected 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa last weekend was the Reds’ worst display of the season and killed any momentum the team had going into the festive period.
As a result they have slipped seven points off the pace for Champions League qualification and with a packed schedule coming up Rodgers is keen for his side to swiftly address the issue.
“What has come to Liverpool is realism and where we are at and it’s been great for the mentality of the players,” he said.
“Our learning from it (the Villa defeat) was that no game is easy in this division.
“The comfort with which we were playing and the opportunities we created in the first 25 minutes would maybe have made you thought we were going to get the result - it’s very easily done.
“It is great learning that you can’t afford to (think like that), you have to keep pushing.”
The visit of Fulham this evening signals a sequence of five matches in 16 days.
Meanwhile, England international Raheem Sterling yesterday committed his future to Liverpool by signing a long-term deal with the club.
“It’s every 18-year-old’s dream,” he said. “I’m just really grateful to be at such a big club like this.
“There’s a lot more to be done. I haven’t begun yet, as the manager has said. Hopefully I can kick on after the New Year.”