Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher claims the club's problems run deeper than their shock FA Cup exit to Barnsley at the weekend suggested.
Despite taking the lead against the Championship side Rafael Benitez's team conceded an injury-time winner to increase the pressure on the under-fire manager and under-performing players.
The Anfield club are 19 points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal and are facing a battle to secure fourth place which is the minimum expected at the start of every season.
'I wouldn't call this just a bad spell,' Carragher said.
'It's been a lot longer than that. We realise we are not playing well enough. It's not a matter of putting your finger on one reason.
'It's simply because we have not been good enough. We've still got the Champions League to play for and we have to fight for that fourth place, so every league game is going to be important. We have to make sure we are in the Champions League next season.'
Things do not get any easier for Liverpool as tomorrow they face Inter Milan, who lead Serie A by 11 points, in the first leg of their Champions League second round match at Anfield.
'At every club there are ups and downs, but we realise we are going to get a lot of criticism in the next few days and rightly so,' added Carragher.
'We've got a massive game coming up against Inter, so we're going to have to get over this because the Champions League is massive for us now.
'It's the only thing we have left that we can win.'