Simon Mignolet has reflected on his reaction to being dropped as Liverpool’s number one earlier this season and how it fuelled his drastic revival.
The Belgian shot-stopper has been in inspired form during recent outings, producing decisive saves in the away wins at Stoke and West Brom.
His rejuvenation has seen rumours of a new goalkeeper arriving in the summer disappear and, in turn, has somewhat brought an end to debate over whether he will still be Liverpool’s first choice next season. As it stands, he certainly will.
It has been by no means a straight forward campaign for the former Sunderland man, having lost his place to Loris Karius before reclaiming it soon after due to the young German’s nervy start to life at Anfield.
Discussing being dropped by his manager, Mignolet told Sky Sports: “I’m happy with how I responded after that moment. It’s about keeping your head down, working hard, and then showing together with the team what you can do.”
“The moment it happens you try to look in the mirror and see what you can do better. Also, keep your head down, focus and work hard to turn it around.”
“I’m happy with how I reacted, it’s behind me now, I don’t want to look back at it too much, because there’s still a job to do.”
“I’m looking more ahead than over my shoulder to see what’s coming. I think we can do a lot of good things here.”
A visible improvement in his physical presence, leadership and aerial ability has demonstrated how he has the talent to be a top goalkeeper. This has thereby set the bar in terms of Klopp being able to expect and demand more consistency from a man he knows can be capable of becoming a reliable figure.
Karius will be undoubtedly be pushing his Liverpool teammate for the starting spot next season, which will hopefully drive Mignolet to progress even more as he strives to cement his first team place.
Sunday’s game at home to Crystal Palace promises to be a significant test of just how far he has come with regards to how well he deals with set-pieces, crosses into the box and the power of former Red Christian Benteke.