Mignolet not fazed by criticism


Published: Sunday 30th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has shrugged off criticism aimed at him and insists he does not dwell on individual performances whether they are good or bad.

The Belgium international came under even more scrutiny after an error in the midweek Champions League tie but responded with only his third clean sheet in 25 appearances in the scrappy 1-0 win over Stoke.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar this week blamed him for the club’s poor start to the campaign, criticising his inability to deal with crosses or command his area, but it has not even registered with Mignolet.

“I deal with a good performance the same as a poor performance – you have to accept it and move on,” he told Press Association Sport after Liverpool ended a three-match losing run in the league.

“What I did after the (Ludogorets) game was look forward to the next game and that is what I will do again today.

“It is always pleasing as a goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet but the most important thing is to get back to winning ways and hopefully we can build a bit of momentum now.

“If you play at home you want to win games and we did the job and that is all that counts.

“There is another game on Tuesday (against bottom side Leicester) and we will look forward to that one.”

After an instantly forgettable first half which saw Liverpool lack any semblance of cutting edge or even an idea of how they were to break down Stoke they improved after the break.

However, Jordan Henderson, standing in for the rested Steven Gerrard as captain, Raheem Sterling, Lucas Leiva and Rickie Lambert all had decent chances to score, but it was only after the visitors had hit the post through Bojan Krkic and Mignolet had produced a brilliant close-range block to deny Mame Biram Diouf that the winner came – from the most unlikely of sources.

Henderson swung in a cross for Lambert to head over goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and back off the crossbar and right-back Glen Johnson was quickest to react with a low diving header to bundle the ball over the line with five minutes remaining.

Liverpool survived a nervous seven minutes of stoppage time to record only their third clean sheet of the season in a defence which saw one change from the midweek Champions League draw with Jose Enrique in at left-back, allowing Johnson to switch to his preferred right with Javier Manquillo the one to miss out.

That meant a first league start since February 12 for Kolo Toure, who had impressed at centre-back in the last two European matches.

“He has got the experience. He has played throughout the years and he knows what he is capable of doing,” Mignolet said of the 33-year-old Ivorian.

“He can help the team and organise them so we know what to expect from him and he works his socks off every day in training and is always ready when the gaffer needs him.”

Despite playing behind another changed back four Mignolet said it made no difference to him.

“We are professional football players so we have to deal with that,” he added.

“You train with all the lads in training every single day so you know what they can do and you know what their capabilities are.”

Stoke manager Mark Hughes felt his side deserved a point with summer signing Krkic impressing.

“I thought the outstanding player was Bojan. He was unfortunate to hit the post and had an outstanding volley at the end,” said the Potters boss.

“Everyone saw the quality he has. He is getting stronger in every game.

“He is enjoying the Premier League, enjoying playing for us. We need to give him the ball more often because he has the ability to produce.”

Published: Sunday 30th November 2014 by The News Editor

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