Steven Gerrard has backed himself and Liverpool to bounce back from their end-of-season heartbreak last spring and mount a serious title challenge once again. Liverpool led the Premier League by five points with three games to go in April, but a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Anfield – in which Gerrard slipped to gift Demba Ba the opening goal – saw them pipped to the title by Manchester City.

“It’s probably been the worst three months of my life,” he told newspapers in the United States, where Liverpool are on their pre-season tour. “I’ve seen it a few times. I don’t have to watch something like that to go through the pain again and again and again.

“I’ve been through the pain in the dressing room after and in the weeks and months since. I just stumbled across it. It didn’t hide away. I have TVs in my house and I read papers. There is social media. When something like that happens you have to face up and be man enough to take it on the chin. Accept it happened. You can’t change it.

“I haven’t lost my man at a set-piece. I haven’t missed a penalty. I haven’t made a bad pass or a mistake. That’s why it was cruel. Every single person on the planet slips at some point in their life, whether it is on a set of stairs, on the floor or whatever.

“For me, it happened on the pitch at a really bad moment. But over the course of 38 games a lot happens for you and against you and that determines whether you win the league or not. That moment happened at a crucial time and I have to face that. And I will do.”

England’s first round exit in Brazil was quickly followed by Gerrard’s international retirement and he revealed that Liverpool commitments played a major part in his decision. “To be fair to Brendan [Rodgers], when I had the chat with him, he said that if you want to carry on for England, I can tailor your Liverpool games,” he said.