London - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has vowed the pain of seemingly throwing away the Premier League title will prove to be a valuable learning experience for his side.
The Reds, last crowned champions of England in 1990, somehow squandered a 3-0 lead in the final 11 minutes of what turned out to be a 3-3 draw away to Crystal Palace on Monday.
That result left Liverpool on top of the table but just one point clear of second-placed Manchester City, who have two league games still to play rather than the Merseysiders' one.
Rodgers, however, has repeatedly insisted it would be a huge leap for Liverpool to go from seventh to first place in the space of a season.
But for any pain Liverpool may suffer in being pipped to the title, they will be in the Champions League next season after four years outside European club football's elite.
And Rodgers believes the hurt engulfing Anfield at the moment will be a prelude to future triumphs.
“To be successful you have to be able to lose,” said the Northern Irishman. “If you look over the years the great winners have been teams and individuals who have lost and gone on to become champions again.
“For us we have made great strides this season and there is still another game to go.
“If anyone had told us in August we would be top going into the last week of the season we would've taken it.
“We've qualified for the Champions League but there is an awful lot more we want to achieve.”
Meanwhile Rodgers thanked the club's US-based owners, Fenway Sports Group, for their backing.
“I would like to thank the owners and executive team. When I came in here two years ago I came in to continue the great work done by Kenny (Dalglish).
“The owners took a young guy of 39 into one of the biggest clubs in the world and gave me the chance to develop the vision of how I want to work.
“If it wasn't for their support I probably wouldn't be here because of the pressure of modern football.”
He also praised the players for accepting his approach to football.
“I am very fortunate to work with an incredible bunch. Waking up every morning of my life I look forward to working with them,” he said.
“I found when I first came in they wanted to learn and wanted to be better.
“After six months of last season, from last January (2013), they have been absolutely incredible.” - Sapa-AFP