Former Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince believes the Reds desperately need to win the Premier League to prove they are making improvements under Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds have not won a league title in 29 years and, after their failure in the Champions League final last year, questions are still being asked as to whether or not they are good enough to win a trophy.
They currently sit top of the Premier League with a three-point gap over Manchester City, but Pep Guardiola’s side have the chance to go above Liverpool on goal difference if they can beat Everton on Wednesday night.
And Ince, who played for Liverpool between 1997 and 1999, insists the Reds need to win a trophy sooner rather than later.
“There’ll be a lot of people asking questions if they miss out on winning the league this year after missing out on the Champions League last year,” Ince said exclusively to news.paddypower.com.
“I personally still see getting into the final as a massive achievement and, if they almost win the league this year, that shows improvement from Klopp.
“But the question they will be asked about is whether or not they’re capable of winning anything.”
The Reds have drawn their last two Premier League games, but Ince believes the club still have what it takes to win the title this season despite their lead over City at the top of the table being reduced.
“Despite this blip, I believe Liverpool will still go on and win it,” he added. “But they need to focus, and get in a good place mentally.
"This is the real test, now. The lack of confidence and fatigue they seem to be experiencing at the minute could cost them big.
“If I was manager, I’d rather be in the position that Klopp is than Pep Guardiola is – if you asked anyone whether they’d be happy to be three points ahead at the top in February, they’d tell you yes.”
Ince also urged the leaders within the Liverpool dressing room to step up and help the club back to winning ways.
“This is where leaders are crucial – Virgil van Dijk and James Milner need to step up," said Ince. "They need to reassure the team that there’s a long way to go yet, and steady the ship.
“There are plenty of Liverpool players who haven’t won anything yet, so it’s unsurprising that the pressure is mounting on them."
Liverpool play Bournemouth in the Premier League on February 9.