They may have lost a step or two in the title race after drawing back to back Premier League matches, but Liverpool ‘keeper Simon Mignolet isn’t panicking yet with the Belgian shot-stopper confident that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has a side that’s far better balanced to make a sustained push for the top spot.
“We were challenging for the title but it was a totally different game and a totally different 11 people,” said Mignolet, reflecting on Liverpool’s ill-fated run at the title in 2013/2014. “Then we were a bit reliant on the individual ability of Luis Suarez to make the difference and score goals. Now it is more about the whole team, the way we create chances and defend as a unit. We need everybody,” stressed the 28-year old. “It is always better to have a good unit than being reliant on one or two players.”
Putting some early season woes and a spell on the bench firmly behind him, Mignolet showed why he’s back between the sticks in a fantastic outing against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Superb reflexes kept a Zlatan Ibrahimovic free-kick from finding the back of the net and some keen instincts — and a little luck — saw him do just enough to stop Henrikh Mkhitaryan as the pacey winger broke through on goal as the Reds ran out a 1-1 draw with their bitter rivals. That, of course, saw Chelsea steal a march on the Anfield outfit, but that’s not something that the Belgian is going to waste his time fretting over.
“There is no point thinking about how the others are doing. You just have to get your own plans sorted and do the best you can,” explained Mignolet, dismissing any suggestion that the Blues are as good as champions. “People said when Philippe [Coutinho] went out of the team injured it was going to be a big blow but we dealt with it, added the Liverpool shot-stopper. “Sadio has gone to the Africa Cup of Nations but we have more than enough players to help each other out.”