Liverpool defender Kolo Toure believes their Premier League title hopes are not over, despite losing ground on the leading sides, but admits some perspective needs to be applied in regards to their position.
In the build up to Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers said they should be mentioned as genuine rivals to Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.
They began the weekend six points behind leaders Arsenal but dropped points at home mean the gap is now eight.
Toure accepts the Merseysiders under-performed against Villa but stressed prior to the start of the season that no-one expected them to be as close to the top as they are.
"We are still in that (title race) because every team can lose points," he told Press Association Sport.
"For us we just need to think about the next game 100 per cent, try to win and be positive.
"What we have done so far no-one was expecting at the start of the season.
"We need to take that on board and just keep going. When you have hard times you see a strong team and we are a strong team.
"The first half was very hard but the reaction from the team was great after going 2-0 down to a good Villa side - last year they won (3-1) here and it wasn't easy for us.
"We got a point and that showed the character of the team. We don't want to lose and that is very important, especially at home.
"Other teams will make errors. We just need to maintain our focus and believe in ourselves. In 16 games a lot can happen."