Kenny Dalglish admits Liverpool were left deeply disappointed by their 1-0 defeat to Braga - but praised the impact of Andy Carroll's cameo performance in Portugal.
Alan's 18th minute penalty condemned the Reds to a slender defeat at the Estadio AXA, meaning they'll have it all to do in next week's return meeting at Anfield if they are to progress into the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
However, Carroll's introduction as an early second-half substitute raised Liverpool's performance in Portugal, with the striker's aerial prowess causing havoc for Braga defenders - and Dalglish felt his side could have had a spot kick of their own when Joe Cole was brought down in the area.
"It was a very poor first-half performance from ourselves," the manager told his post-match press conference. "We have no complaints whatsoever about the penalty.
"We picked it up a little bit in the second half and looked a bit more threatening, especially after Andy came on, and I think we were probably denied with a stone wall penalty ourselves.
"But to play the way we did in the first half and come away only one goal behind means we were very fortunate.
"Although they never created a great deal and we created most of our problems, when you play as badly as that you are fortunate to only lose 1-0."
Carroll's appearance was his second in a Liverpool jersey following his bow against Manchester United on Sunday.
Dalglish added: "He worried them. We played better once he came on. He's a good option for us.
"We've got to give him as many minutes as we can to make sure we're making a contribution to getting him fit. It was a bit longer than he got on Sunday and we will continue to make a contribution towards his fitness."
Liverpool are not in action until next Thursday when they contest the second leg of the last 16 tie against Braga at Anfield.
Dalglish admits his side will need to generate a much-improved showing if they are to retain their European aspirations.
"You don't know if it's a good or bad result until the second leg is over, so we will have to wait and see," he said.
"There is no player in there (dressing room) pleased with their performance or the result, but until next Thursday we won't be able to assess whether we have been fortunate or contributed to our own downfall (tonight)."
Meanwhile, Dalglish revealed he had no further news on Steven Gerrard's groin injury, telling reporters: "There may be something tomorrow."