Toure: "We Have to Avoid Making the Same Mistakes"

Laurence Griffiths

Kolo Toure believes Simon Mgnolet and Liverpool's defenders can bounce back after a rocky stretch, but the real answer to their recent struggles may lie in finding a better team balance.

Liverpool may have owed at least half their points to Simon Mignolet in the early going, but in football it's always a question of what have you done for me lately. And of late it's been hard to ignore that Mignolet hasn't been at his best. He hasn't been alone, with the defence's struggles a key talking point in recent weeks, but Kolo Toure believes both 'keeper and defenders have what it takes to bounce back

"Simon will get through it as he is really strong mentally," Toure told the Liverpool Echo. "I told him that the life of defenders and goalkeepers is like this. You can play a 120 games without making a mistake and then make two in two games and it’s like you have to start all over again. All keepers have sticky patches but he is a strong guy and he knows he has a big part to play in the season.

"It’s not only Simon, everyone needs to react. The back four could have done better with everything. We know we have a strong defence as before we were keeping clean sheets. We will work on that in training and make sure we are better in the future."

Injuries at both centre half and fullback haven't helped, and a disastrous dip in form for Glen Johnson shows no signs of letting up. However, Liverpool's defensive struggles haven't been aided by Brendan Rodgers' decision to abdicate midfield in favour of an imbalanced, all out attack right when his defenders and goalkeepers could have used a helping hand. It's a decision by the manager that could undermine Liverpool's season, but Toure remains hopeful.

"What we have done so far this season no-one was expecting at the start of the season," insisted the Ivorian. "We just need to take on board where we can improve and keep going. We have a few days to recover and then we will analyse everything. We just have to avoid making the same mistakes. When you have hard times you see a strong team and we are a strong team."

For many, the biggest mistake for Liverpool of late has been an embrace of Steven Gerrard as a single-pivot holding midfielder and an imbalanced lineup. The defensive struggles and a few shaky moments from Mignolet certainly haven't helped, but then Liverpool's overall approach hasn't done much to help the defence and 'keeper at a time it's clear they need it, and Rodgers and the players must now find a solution before it's too late.

Whatever the answer may be for Liverpool's recent frailties at the back, with a match against Everton next Tuesday set to be the most important derby in recent memory, one that will determine if Liverpool enter February in the top four, Toure, Mignolet, Rodgers, and all the rest of the players and coaches now have a week to find it.

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