Liverpool's 2018-19 campaign should not be deemed as a failure if they fall short in a Premier League title bid, according to John Barnes.
Jurgen Klopp's side are second in the table with three matches of the season remaining, a point behind reigning champions Manchester City.
The Reds are on course to amass a whopping 97 points, which would be the highest tally in their entire history, but they may still end up finishing second.
However, ahead of a crucial home clash against Huddersfield Town on Friday, Barnes has insisted that the club have made great strides forward even if trophies are not forthcoming at Anfield come the end of May.
“When people say coming second is a failure, no one can convince me that 97 points and losing one game is a failure,” the ex-Liverpool midfielder told talkSPORT.
“Plus, we’re in the Champions League semi-final against a Barcelona team that is one of the best ever.
“So even if we are beaten by Barcelona and finish second, for me, it’s been an incredible season that shows we’re moving forward.
“Next season we’ll be there or thereabouts once again.”
After facing off against the Terriers, Klopp's men must take in a trip to Newcastle and a home game against Wolves to wrap up their domestic campaign, while negotiating their two-legged European tie with Barcelona in between.
City seized the initiative in the title race with a stunning 2-0 win over arch-rivals Manchester United on Wednesday, with many experts and supporters now backing the champions to successfully defend their crown.
It has been suggested that Pep Guardiola's team have struck a significant mental blow to Liverpool with their latest win, but Barnes expects his old club to maintain their focus.
“Before Barcelona, we have to play Huddersfield and beat them to keep the pressure on Man City," he added.
“But nothing Manchester City does affects Liverpool, because Jurgen Klopp has the players playing with commitment, determination and energy, regardless of whether it’s against Barcelona or Huddersfield.
“You see what Liverpool put in every performance, they don’t prioritise one game over another, Klopp says to take every game one at a time and give your all, so it won't affect the Barcelona situation one iota.”