Rickie Lambert admitted a late equaliser for Ludogorets had left Liverpool "devastated" in Bulgaria but claimed their performance in the 2-2 draw ought to be enough to silence their critics.
A Simon Mignolet error gifted the hosts an early lead through Dani Abola, but Lambert's first Champions League goal levelled it before Jordan Henderson put Liverpool ahead eight minutes before the break.
But Liverpool spent the last 10 minutes on the back foot and Georgi Terziev levelled it with two minutes to go, leaving Liverpool needing victory over Basle in their final match to secure progression.
Liverpool came into the match reeling from their defeat at Crystal Palace at the weekend, but Lambert felt they were much improved.
"It meant a lot," he said on Sky Sports 5 of his goal. "It was my first start in the Champions League and it was brilliant to get off the mark and get us back in the game.
"I thought the performance was a lot better, that was the main thing. We're devastated about the goal at the end but it is still a good result.
"We knew if we got a draw today a win would get us through and it's about getting through. But it was about the performance today, win, lose or draw, and the performance was a lot better today, I thought anyway.
"We've answered some critics about Sunday night. We wanted to address it and we wanted the win. We almost got it but it's about the performance. We've got to take heart from it now and go for an even better performance on Saturday."
Liverpool draw 2-2 to a Bulgarian side.
Lambert: We answered our critics. Rodgers: A real confidence boost.
Am I missing something?
— Charles Ducksbury (@cducksbury) November 26, 2014
"We've answered some of the critics," claims Rickie Lambert.
See, some of you critics, you've been answered.
— Jim Boardman (@JimBoardman) November 26, 2014
Brendan Rodgers has come under increasing pressure given his side's stuttering start, but the manager backed Lambert's assessment of a strong performance.
"We showed wonderful character tonight," he said.
"Obviously (if you) go a goal behind in this competition you need great spirit and character of team.
"We were disappointed with the goal at the end but that's irrelevant. We need to win a game at the end against Basle and at the start we would have looked at that game as the one to see us through and it should be a great night at Anfield."
Rodgers' team selection focused on players who had been part of their title challenge last campaign, with Lambert and Javier Manquillo the only summer signings in the starting eleven.
Asked if he had gone back to basics, Rodgers said: "They're certainly players that I know what their capable of. Lucas coming into the team, the last time he played was against Real Madrid and he was outstanding. Obviously they are players I know what they're capable of but in time the new players will adapt to how you want to play.
"We've set a standard here in the last two and a half years and we've not lived up to that so far this season."
Is Lambert right? Have Liverpool answered some critics in their 2-2 draw in Bulgaria? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.