Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has insisted the club will ''live through a bad moment'' as he seeks to lift morale after their embarrassing Carling Cup exit.
An understrength side lost on penalties to League Two outfit Northampton on Wednesday and with Liverpool's difficult start to the Premier League leaving them 16th, although only three points adrift of fourth, the scrutiny on the Reds and their manager has intensified. But Hodgson has drawn a line under Wednesday night's performance.
''I've had many disappointments. You can't work at 35 years at the level I have without having disappointments,'' he said. ''Any criticism which comes my way and the team's we have to accept because it is not acceptable to have a home game in the Carling Cup against a team several divisions below you and not come out with a victory.
''Wednesday was a really bad result for the club, it has knocked us backwards, and has put us in a situation where we are heavily criticised - perhaps rightly so.''
Hodgson was given a difficult time at his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Sunderland. But he stressed the situation at Anfield was not as bad as was being portrayed.
''Everyone predicted the start of the season was going to be difficult looking at our programme, players leaving and coming in and discussions about the future of the club,'' added the 62-year-old. ''That is how it's proved to be. We've had some good moments - with five straight Europa League victories - but also some bad ones, like the (3-0) defeat at Manchester City and the one in the Carling Cup.
''It's been pretty much a mixed bag but we'll live through the bad moments and over the course of the season we'll do well. We are reading an awful lot into a bad result.
''If we'd had a positive result on Wednesday this would have been quite a positive press conference as people would have been talking about Manchester United (last weekend), how well we did in the second half, but all of that flies out of the window.''
Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier, who is still in contact with some Liverpool players from his time at the club, said: "It (the Northampton defeat) was a disaster. I lost against Grimsby myself. For Roy the next game is the most important.
"Forget about the past. You know when you play a European game or a cup game, sometimes you prioritise - which he did. We did as well against Blackburn in the Carling. He will be all right. The boys like him. They will play for him."