London - Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard urged the club to look to the future after their Champions League hopes all but evaporated following a 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Sunday.
Gerrard headed in an equaliser after his former England colleague John Terry opened the scoring in the fifth minute at Stamford Bridge, but the result left Liverpool six points below the Premier League top four with only two games to play.
Gerrard, 34, will leave Anfield for the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season, but he said that despite Brendan Rodgers's side coming up short, there were plenty of grounds for optimism.
"I think now this team's got to prepare for next year," he told Sky Sports.
"We wanted to make a statement with our performance today. Unfortunately we didn't win the game, but we've shown that with a few additions we can compete next year.
"We've shown we've come up a bit short. I think it's important the lads get some rest, the owners try and dig deep and help Brendan out.
"There's a great core of players here. This league is getting more and more difficult every year. We lost (Luis) Suarez (to Barcelona), we haven't had Daniel Sturridge (due to injury). It's been tough."
Liverpool granted newly crowned champions Chelsea a guard of honour prior to kick-off and Gerrard, who twice nearly joined the west London club, said it had been an unpleasant moment.
"It's not nice, the guard of honour, but Chelsea have won the league," he said.
"They deserved it, but it wasn't nice doing it."