Rafa: Unlucky Liverpool are united
Under-fire boss Rafael Benitez emerged from the draw at Stoke believing his players had proved their commitment to Liverpool and their manager.
The Anfield chief has heard the whispers that he has lost the dressing room in the midst of the worst spell in his time at the club.
Disaster has followed disaster as Liverpool's season has all but imploded.
The midweek FA Cup defeat at home to Reading sent Liverpool plunging to a new low.
So facing the physical demands of a combative Stoke next was not the game Benitez would have chosen.
It was never pretty, but his team fought for everything and stood up against the most intense pressures on and off the field.
But once again they conceded a damaging late goal and what could have been a minor triumph against all the odds turned into more disappointment.
Liverpool led from early in the second half when Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos bundled home his first goal for the club, with no little help from a poor piece of goalkeeping from Thomas Sorensen.
The Reds then held out against Stoke's barrage until the 89th minute, before Robert Huth forced home the equaliser.
With many calling for Benitez to be axed, and with the rumour mill suggesting troubles in the dressing room, the Spaniard hit back.
He said: "I was very pleased. It is something we can build on. Talk of problems in the dressing room are not true.
"You could see the response from the players' point. Is someone saying there is a problem with Steven Gerrard? Not true. He was here today supporting the team, that says everything."
Benitez highlighted two pivotal decisions by Lee Mason which robbed Liverpool of what they considered was a deserved win.
In the first half Lucas was booked for diving when he went down under a Danny Higginbotham tackle in the box, with replays showing the Brazilian midfielder had been clearly tripped.
And in the final seconds Benitez maintained that Lucas was hauled back in the box before Dirk Kuyt hit a post with a diving header.
Benitez said: "You can watch them a hundred times on replay and you would always say they were penalties, the decisions were wrong. The players were angry afterwards, everyone could see there were two penalties.
"But you have to keep going when things are not going your way. The main thing for me was that the players were positive from start to finish, they produced a real performance for the club."
Liverpool were without the injured Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Yossi Benayoun and Daniel Agger and were forced to send out a patched up team.
Benitez continued: "The result was difficult to take. We were winning until the 89th minute. We lost two points here.
"Everybody could see we were denied two penalties but the main thing was that we showed the right character.
"We had so many players out injured, so the most important thing was for the players to react in the right way.
"They were fantastic, working very, very hard. Our fans could see that and they were supporting us all the way.
"I was really pleased with that performance against a very difficult, physical team. Now we have to move forward and hopefully the players will continue to show that same mentality in the future."
Stoke boss Tony Pulis dismissed Benitez's complaints saying: "You can look at all sorts of decisions. I did not think it was a free-kick before they scored and probably Sorensen will have to take the blame for conceding a poor goal.
"But we got up a fair momentum in the end and I felt we deserved the draw.
"I certainly did not think that there was anything wrong with Liverpool's performance. Their commitment and attitude was spot-on, they had a real go.
"I can understand where Rafa is coming from in complaining about the penalty decisions but you do that when you are on one side of the fence. I would do the same but these things are just part of the game."