Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish blamed tiredness, injuries and refereeing decisions for the 2-1 defeat by Wigan, their fifth loss in six league games.
"Every single one of them is capable of passing to someone in the same colour shirt," Dalglish told BBC Sport.
"But I think the toll of three games in six days took the edge off them a little bit.
"It doesn't matter how good you are, you still need to have a bit of bounce of the ball with some decisions."
Dalglish did not elaborate on which decisions he was unhappy with, but Wigan had taken the lead from the penalty spot after Martin Skrtel's challenge on Victor Moses was deemed to be dangerous.
And, after Luis Suarez had equalised, the Uruguayan thought he had given his team the lead, only for the goal to be disallowed for handball.
Shortly afterwards, Gary Caldwell then slotted in the winner for Wigan in front of The Kop.
With Craig Bellamy, Charlie Adam, Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson all injured, Dalglish was short of options to freshen up a side that beat Stoke City in the FA Cup on Sunday before losing 3-2 at QPR on Wednesday night.
"We are not going through the best run of having players available to us," said Dalglish.
"But, if we do have designs on stepping forward, we need to learn how to manage three games in six days.
"If that is the schedule, we have to live with it and we have to have a stronger squad to be able to handle it."
With so many injuries, Dalglish chose to include teenager Raheem Sterling in his squad and he came off the bench to become the club's third youngest debutant at 17 years and 97 days.
But the Scot said that he would prefer not to have had to use the youngster.
"It's not fair on him," said Dalglish. "He's a good player and a good lad but we're going to have to manage him.
"He might have enjoyed getting on the pitch but I don't think it's the way forward for us."