Simon Mignolet has underlined the importance of Liverpool maintaining their attacking approach regardless of apparent defensive frailties.
Two games into the new 2017/2018 season, the Reds already find themselves under pressure after being exposed for weaknesses at the back that many feel are still yet to be properly addressed.
Last weekend’s opening Premier League fixture away to Watford reminder Reds of a familiar struggle against defending set pieces.
Mignolet insists the team are not oblivious to the need for drastic improvement but believes Liverpool cannot change when they have so much to offer from an offensive point of view.
“We can only play one way and that is forward,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“We know that we can always score. We have so much style up front.”
“We have so much talent in the squad that we have to use it. We have the qualities and our natural game will be attacking.”
“But we know we have to fill that in with a really defensive spirit. We know that is where we have to improve. We are not blind. Everybody knows it in the dressing room, but there is no point throwing everything away.”
“A natural footballing side that goes forward, you cannot change that, but we know we have to mix that in with a good defensive, aggressive spirit to make sure they don’t score the goals.”
It’s the guarantee of goals that an attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah offers that makes Liverpool’s defensive concerns all the more frustrating.
Though Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over Hoffenhim was far from a sparkling display at the back, it was an insight into the kind of game management Jurgen Klopp turned a focus towards during pre-season.
A notable difference in the team’s attacking approach in terms of more long balls and fewer players committing to breaking forward recognised a wiser dedication to containing the Bundesliga side.
It was a foundation for this team to build on and a hint at what Liverpool could be if improvements are made ahead of Mignolet.
An outstanding attacking force cannot continue to be burdened by costly defensive errors.