Liverpool defender Jose Enrique believes a lack of silverware this season does not mean progress is not being made.
This time last year the Reds already had the League Cup in the bag and were looking forward to an FA Cup final appearance against Chelsea. They would lose at Wembley and finish a disappointing eighth, 17 points adrift of Champions League qualification which ultimately cost Kenny Dalglish his job.
But in a campaign of ups and downs, which are still continuing despite a good unbeaten run in March under new manager Brendan Rodgers, Enrique is convinced they are improving. "In terms of football and for the future, I think so," said the left-back.
"As the manager said from the start, it's difficult because he came to the club with another type of football that we're not really used to in England. It's difficult to get used to this system for players that have never played that type of football.
"Now you can see even in the games we are not winning, we are playing really well - Southampton (a 3-1 defeat earlier this month) is the only game that we didn't play that well. Against West Ham (on Sunday) we tried until the end and played really well; we didn't have luck in the final third.
"Of course, last year we played two finals and won one of them - you can see how difficult it is to win a trophy. We won one last year and nothing this year, but in terms of the future we have made progress."
In many ways the Spaniard's season has mirrored that of the club as it began badly - he was not in the side at all and looked to be heading for a January exit - only to come good. Enrique found right-back Glen Johnson being selected ahead of him in his position during those early months but the England international is someone the 27-year-old admires.
"You have to work every day; you are there now but if you drop your form, another player will take your position," he told liverpoolfc.com. "I will try to stay there. I don't like to speak about myself but, for me, Glen is one of the best right-backs in the world.
"Our first thing is to defend - we are defenders so we have to defend - and it's really important to have a clean sheet as often as we can. But, of course, in a lot of games - not just at home, a lot of times away - we have possession and control of the game.
"He (Rodgers) wants the full-backs to try to be another attacking player. It's good because it's not just about defending and then attacking sometimes, he wants us to go all the time as another attacking player. It's really good, I really enjoy this type of football."