It seems like a lifetime ago, but it has only been a little over six months since Jurgen Klopp was taking to the dugout for his first home game in charge of the club.
His debut was away at Spurs on 17th October, but three days later he got to experience Anfield for the first time.
It just so happened to be a Europa League game, with Rubin Kazan the visitors. In the event, it was a somewhat forgettable 0-0 draw, but Simon Mignolet says Klopp’s comments ahead of that game provided the squad with a mental roadmap for the rest of the season.
“I remember when the gaffer came here the first [home] game he played was in the Europa League,” the Belgian explained (via official site).
“He said, ‘If you want to go to the final, this is the first step’. This is what you have to do in a tournament, every game you play is one step in the direction of where you want to go.”
He went on to explain how we’ve used that mantra ever since, and it’s taken us to a League Cup final and a one game away from a European semi-final.
“Tomorrow is no different and we’ll try to do the same things that we’ve been doing in this competition and hopefully we can keep that story going until the end,” he continued.
“It’s exciting, it’s a great occasion to play in as a footballer and that’s what you want. You want to play in big matches so you look forward to that and relish the occasion.
“The only thing you can’t do is let the nerves get [the better] of you because then you start not playing the best you can,” he concluded.
Do you trust Mignolet to keep his nerve? Let us know in the comments section below.