Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia believes his side could have experienced a different night against Liverpool had Kenwyne Jones not wasted a glorious early chance.
The Black Cats sank 2-0 at Anfield on Tuesday as David Ngog and Yossi Benyaoun reinvigorated the Reds' faint Premier League title hopes following Saturday's defeat at Middlesbrough.
However, Sbragia feels it could have been a different story if Trinidad and Tobago striker Jones had converted an opportunity following a slip by Martin Skrtel.
Jones found himself one-one-one with Jose Reina in the opening minutes, but was superbly denied by the Liverpool goalkeeper, leaving Sbragia ruing the failure to convert.
"Jones should have scored - and on any other day, he probably would have done so," he said.
"If we had scored then the game would have been very different. Liverpool would have become anxious and we would have given ourselves something to hang on to.
"Liverpool would have been under pressure. We did okay in the first half - but once they went ahead, it was always going to be difficult."
Sbragia feels that Sunderland - who sit in 12th position, five points from the relegation zone - need 10 more points to ensure top-flight survival.
Planning for next season is taking place at the Stadium of Light, with Sbragia set for a meeting with chairman Niall Quinn on Wednesday where a potential long-term contract and transfer targets are to be discussed, and the Black Cats boss is confident.
"Maybe nine or 10 points," the Scot told Sky Sports 2 when asked what was required to ensure survival.
"We have got the points in the bag. It is up to others to catch us as well. I think 10 points probably."