Graeme Souness has urged Liverpool to stick with Jurgen Klopp, insisting a top-four finish would represent a successful season for the club.
The Reds have won just once in their last six games, when they thrashed Slovenian minnows Maribor 7-0 in the Champions League last week, and sit in ninth place on the Premier League table, 12 points behind league leaders Manchester City.
"If someone would guarantee me a top-four finish for Liverpool, I would sign up right now if I was the Liverpool manager," Souness told Premier League Daily on Sky Sports.
"They are in fits and starts. With the element of doubt surrounding [Philippe] Coutinho and their vulnerability at the back, I would take top four right now.
"Liverpool have to stick with Klopp too. He is a good fit for Liverpool. He is a passionate man, wears his heart on his sleeve and Liverpool are that sort of club to give him time."
The Merseysiders have the worst away defensive record in the league, conceding 15 goals in five matches and Souness admitted Liverpool needed to bolster their defensive options. Tottenham Hotspur further exposed their problems at the back in the 4-1 win at Wembley over the weekend, with Liverpool's first choice centre-back pair Dejan Lovren, who was replaced in the first half, and Joel Matip terrorised by Mauricio Pochettino's side.
Klopp has attempted to deflect criticism away from his defence, which he failed to substantially add to during the summer transfer window. Left-back Andrew Robertson arrived from Hull City but his outings have been rare during the early months of his Anfield career.
"The manager put all his eggs in one basket with Virgil van Dijk and I like him as a player, and if he had gone to Liverpool he could have made the difference," added Souness.
"One player makes the difference in my opinion. Jurgen Klopp has kept his powder dry. As a manager, when you can't get your first target do you go and spend on your second, third, fourth choice?"
Liverpool have developed into a potent attacking threat since Klopp's arrival but Souness, who won five titles with Liverpool between the 1970s and 1980s, added his former club's profligacy in front of goal was exacerbating their defensive issues.
With the exception of their 3-2 win at Leicester City in September, Liverpool have not scored more than one goal in a league game since they dismantled Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield at the end of August.
"They are not taking their chances," Souness said.
"I was hoping after the Maribor result, there would be more belief that they can score those chances, but at Wembley, Lovren made too many mistakes and all that confidence from midweek disappeared.
"If you are leaking goals as they are, it doesn't matter what football you play because you can't outscore teams. You have to defend properly. You would be far better to be tight and not play attractive football and just nick a game."