Liverpool midfielder Thiago believes being so close to an unprecedented top-four finish last season has had too much of an impact on the squad.
Manager Jurgen Klopp earlier this month accepted the physical demands of a 63-game season in which his side played all the games available to them, won the League-FA Cup double and narrowly missed out on the Premier League titles, with the Champions League catching up with them. .
But the fact that they were so close to a historic achievement – they were 12 minutes away from a second domestic title in three years and only lost to Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris – also seemed to have a psychological impact.
“It’s not just physical things, it’s a psychological thing because we were so close to winning it all and we just touched it, but unfortunately it’s gone,” Thiago said after the disappointing goalless draw at home to Chelsea.
“We are ready for Champions League (in the round of 16 against Madrid) and the FA Cup.
“We’re not in the position we wanted in the Premier League, but we’re still there and that’s good.
“Last season we had one of the best seasons of my life. This season isn’t the best, but it doesn’t matter.
“It’s a tough task and I think we’ve got great quality and great guys to solve this problem and I’m sure we will.”
Brentford’s points at Leeds on Sunday dropped Liverpool to ninth place and although the top four is still a long way off, the fact that Klopp’s side have only reached the midway point of the season gives hope that there is still time to put things right.
“I think in difficult times we have to be together as a team,” Thiago added.
“Actually, we have to go game by game and earn points that will help us climb as high as possible.
“Our goal is the next game. Not to be in the top 4 or in the Europa League, just in the next game.
“We are looking forward to the next game (Saturday FA Cup fourth round match) against Brighton, that is.”