LONDON - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists that their results will improve, after the Merseysiders suffered their third defeat in five English Premier League (EPL) matches this season with a 1-3 loss at West Ham.
A dreadful start that saw Winston Reid and then Diafra Sakho score for the Hammers in the opening seven minutes at Upton Park ended up costing Liverpool dear.
Raheem Sterling pulled a goal back in the 26th minute and Liverpool were the better side for most of the second half on Saturday.
But the visitors ended up conceding a game-clinching third goal when substitute Morgan Amalfitano scored two minutes from time. It was West Ham's first win in front of their own supporters this season.
Defence was Liverpool's Achilles' heel when they were pipped to the EPL title last season by Manchester City.
However, Rodgers argued that the Reds made a similarly slow start last season.
"I am very fortunate that I have an honest group of players that knows that sort of level is not what we expect," he said. "We will, over the course of the season, get better.
"We were brilliant last season and the only thing I will say is that, at this point last season, we weren't playing to the level of the last three or four months.
"I remember people asking me whether we would score enough goals, and we finished the season with 101."
Luis Suarez, now at Barcelona, and Daniel Sturridge, currently injured, scored the majority of last season's goals. But Rodgers believes that the 3-0 win at Tottenham last month was more typical of his players than the West Ham loss.
"We showed our potential in the Tottenham game. When we had key players fit, we showed in that game the real quality and the intensity of the team," he said.
"But we still should be better than we were today. We have set a new expectancy at the club, which we will have to deal with now.
"Liverpool have always been a club everybody wants to beat, but particularly now that we are in the Champions League."
Five-time European champions Liverpool returned to that competition last week, earning a narrow victory over Bulgarian side Ludogorets.
Many teams have suffered defeats in league action the weekend after playing in Europe, and Rodgers acknowledged the issue by saying: "That is something we will have to deal with, and we will."