Jurgen Klopp says he is “not angry, but frustrated” by Liverpool’s concession of a two-goal lead against Southampton.
The Reds led 2-0 at half-time at St Mary’s Stadium through goals from Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.
But Sadio Mane led a spirited Southampton fightback in the second half, scoring twice as the hosts won 3-2, with Graziano Pelle also scoring.
The defeat leaves Liverpool in ninth, seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City in the race for Champions League qualification.
The Reds have at least one game in hand on each of their competitors, but Klopp says his side may have to win each of their remaining nine games to stand a chance.
“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,” the German said.
“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.
“We played a perfect first half and could have scored more, but we had a few problems in the second half and we could have done better.
“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.
“It’s easy to count the games and say we’ve played 10 more games than Southampton this season, but today we made football mistakes and we will learn from them.”