Liverpool midfielder Rachel Furness says the players were responsible for the failure to regain their Women’s Super League place – not a lack of investment.
The Reds were relegated when the 2019-20 season was brought to an early conclusion and settled on points-per-game due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Liverpool were a point adrift of Birmingham having played a game more and were relegated by 0.1 points.
They were among the favourites to come straight back up but Leicester comfortably wrapped up the Championship title with two games to spare.
Liverpool, who parted company with manager Vicky Jepson in January, are still able to finish second heading into their final match of the campaign at home to London City Lionesses.
In three of the last six seasons, finishing second was enough to merit a promotion spot, but under this season’s rules, only the champions are going up.
Northern Ireland international Furness told the PA news agency: “It’s been a very frustrating season and one massive learning curve for the whole club. For us as players we’ve learned a lot about each other – good and bad.
“Unfortunately in the Championship you have one ‘bad’ and that could be the title.
“We had a couple of games where we let ourselves down or didn’t quite get over the line.
“The aim at the start of the season was come straight back up but we fell short and we have to learn a lot from this and hopefully it will make us stronger next season, hopefully leading to promotion.”
— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) April 28, 2021
Liverpool have received criticism for neglecting the women’s team while the men have won the Champions League and Premier League in recent seasons.
Club accounts published this week showed a 21 per cent increase in funding from Liverpool FC to Liverpool Women, while he number of full-time staff is listed as 32.
Furness added: “Yes the club isn’t perfect but what club is? Maybe apart from Chelsea and Man City (where) you can see the investment clearly in the squad and the relationship they have with the club as they have success on the pitch.
“We are getting invested in but part of our job is to perform on the pitch so if we are not doing that it reflects badly on the club as a whole.
“Next season hopefully we get success and people will be talking about how well supported the team is.”