Raheem Sterling admits the absence of Daniel Sturridge has been a crucial reason behind the Reds poor form this season, reports Sky Sports.
The Reds crashed to a third Premier League defeat in five games on Saturday, going down to a 3-1 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park.
Sterling was one of the few bright sparks on what was another frustrating evening for the Reds, scoring his third goal of the season with a fine strike.
And the 19-year-old admits Sturridge cannot return to action soon enough, having missed the last three matches with a thigh injury sustained on international duty.
Sterling said: “Daniel is a massive miss for us with his goals and the way he plays in behind defenders.
“Him coming back should add another dimension to the team. It will definitely be a test of character but I think there is a lot of character in this group.”
The forward also said that Liverpool can’t use the excuse of Champions League football to justify their poor league form this season.
He said: “We can’t use playing in the Champions League as an excuse because there are other teams in the Premier League doing exactly the same as us who are winning games.
“The games are coming thick and fast but that’s what we want – to be competing at the top end of the Premier League and in the Champions League.
“What it means now is that after the second recovery day after a game we’re straight back into another game. That’s the way it’s going to be this season and that’s something we need to get used to.
“We’ve got the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen to come back from injury but we should be winning games with the players we’ve got out on that pitch.
“We need to get back to basics and start winning games again. We’ll get back to the training field and go again on Tuesday night against Middlesbrough in the League Cup.
“We have definitely got the quality to make the top four. It’s down to us to get things right and get back to playing the way we all know we can.
“It’s concerning but we have got to put it behind us and go again. Our focus has to turn to the next game now. We need to bounce back.”