PEPE REINA insisted Liverpool could ‘hold their heads high’ after they exited the Europa League on a dramatic night at Anfield.
The Reds beat Zenit St Petersburg 3-1 but bowed out on away goals as it finished 3-3 on aggregate.
After falling behind to Hulk's early strike, Brendan Rodgers' side produced a stunning fightback with Luis Suarez scoring twice and Joe Allen also netting.
But a late onslaught failed to yield the fourth goal Liverpool needed to go through to the last 16 as a thrilling encounter ended in heartbreak.
“There's disappointment because we didn't get through but we have to be proud of how we played,” Reina said.
“We went out of the Europa League with our heads held high.
“We tried our best and we showed great character, especially after conceding the goal.
“We fought for our lives throughout the 90 minutes and we showed a lot of passion.
“We are not happy but that's football.”
Liverpool's comeback was inspired by an electric atmosphere at Anfield and Reina paid tribute to the support of a capacity crowd.
“We need to thank the fans, they were brilliant,” he said.
“They were with us even more when we conceded the goal.
“That's something to be very happy about. I feel very proud.”
With their last chance of silverware this season having disappeared, Reina insists Liverpool must ensure they produce a strong finish to their Premier League campaign.
Rodgers' side don't play again now until next Saturday's trip to Wigan Athletic.
“We need to go step by step, make sure we win as many of our remaining games as possible and try to climb the table,” Reina said.
“We just have to win at Wigan – that's the next target. At least we will be fresher for the league games now.”