Jurgen Klopp pointed the finger at a series of injuries for what he described as an inconsistent and unstable start to the season from Liverpool.
The Reds are 12 points off the top of the Premier League after winning just four of their first 11 league games of the season.
Klopp’s men appeared to have put a slow start behind them with three consecutive wins, including inflicting Manchester City’s first defeat of the season.
But they were brought back to earth with a bang in losing 1-0 to bottom-of-the-table Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
“We see the performances and they’re not as stable and as consistent as they were. That’s clear now,” said Klopp ahead of his side’s Champions League trip to Ajax on Wednesday.
“What you need for really clicking is consistency in the line-up as well and we can’t do that at the moment, not at all.
“Our squad is not too small but we have just too many injuries and that’s a problem.”
Darwin Nunez and Ibrahima Konate could return to face the Dutch champions.
But Joel Matip, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara remain out.
Liverpool need just a point against Ajax to qualify for the last 16 and Klopp insisted that not all is bleak at Anfield as he attempts to turn around the fortunes of a side that came close to an unpredecented quadruple of trophies last season.
“Very good performances on a consistent level don’t fall off the trees, you have to work for it and you have to go for it in the long-term and that’s what we are doing,” he added.
“We are working and trying to turn each screw and will do that without being nervous or thinking something is going against us.
“We know it is a difficult situation, it will be difficult tomorrow here away against Ajax, but I think it makes sense to be optimistic and that’s what I am.”
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