James Milner apologised to his team-mates after his second-half penalty miss against Southampton dealt a blow to Liverpool's Champions League hopes as the Reds were held to a 0-0 draw at Anfield.
With little more than an hour played, Liverpool were awarded a penalty after Jack Stephens handled Lucas Leiva's cross into the box. Milner stepped up with the confidence of a player who'd not missed in 12 attempts for the Anfield club.
But Saints' stopper Fraser Forster had uttered a few words as his England colleague readied himself and, although Milner denied it after the final whistle, Forster's mutterings might just have altered the left-back's mindset, as the 'keeper dived low to his right to keep out the spot-kick.
Milner denied as Liverpool slip
James Milner missed a penalty as Liverpool lost ground in the top-four race.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the 0-0 draw, Milner was apologetic though he insisted the miss would not affect his decision to step up in future.
"I've been around long enough not to let that worry me," Milner said. "I did what I wanted to do - obviously it was not good enough on this occasion.
"Fraser's a good 'keeper. I can't do any more than hold my hands up and apologise to the boys."
Had the Reds won their remaining three games they would have ensured a top-four finish, however, the result ensures Liverpool must now depend on other results going in their favour.
Jurgen Klopp's men have now failed to beat the south coast outfit in four meetings this season, though, and Milner admitted they weren't good enough on the day.
"They're a tough team to break down," Milner added. "The pitch was a bit sticky at times so it was hard to move it as fast as we like. We didn't play as well as we would have liked. Again, we have to take responsibility for that.
"With these games, we knew what we had to do and we haven't done it. But you can't create more chances than have a penalty - ultimately that was the big chance and it wasn't taken.
"There are two games left - we have to go and win them and see if that's good enough."