Winning by five goals at Tottenham may have been a fantastic result for Liverpool, but with kickoff against Cardiff less than two days away it's a result that loses much of its meaning if the club fails to deliver at home this time out. It's a situation that isn't lost on the players, and Simon Mignolet is looking to keep his focus on what comes next.
"It was a great result for us at Tottenham," the goalkeeper told the Liverpool Echo. "We were positive, tried to win the game, and played very well. We were very pleased not only with the three points but also the clean sheet which was very important for us. We showed what we can achieve when we play the football we want to play and all of us do our jobs.
"We are happy and enjoyed the moment but Tottenham is in the past and now we have to look forward. We have to make sure we build on that performance and do the same things against Cardiff. It will be another difficult game and we need to be focused on Cardiff. We are in a good position but we need to prepare correctly and keep this run going."
Too often in recent seasons, Liverpool have followed up their most impressive performances by losing focus or taking results for granted, often stumbling in matches that on paper they should win. As impressive as the result against Tottenham was, then, the real measure of just where the current Liverpool squad stands may come on Saturday.
Cardiff may be a decent if lower-table side, but right now the Welsh club are embroiled in controversy with rumours their controversial owner has demanded popular manager Malky Mackay resign or he will be sacked. On the form of their last three matches—particularly last Sunday's—and at home, it's a side Liverpool should be able to defeat handily.
If Liverpool are to make it into the top four this season—if, perhaps, Liverpool are to do even more than that—it's a match they must win. Fans may be increasingly hopeful regarding upcoming clashes against Chelsea and Manchester City, but this Saturday's far more winnable match is the one Liverpool simply have to take all three points from.
"Positions don’t matter at the moment as everything will be decided much later in the season," added Mignolet. "There are still so many games to be played. We will know more after the Christmas period. There is a huge opportunity ahead of us and we must make sure we do the right things week in week out.
"After Cardiff there are two really big games but we can’t look too far ahead. It doesn’t really matter who we are playing as we always look at ourselves and try to focus on the things we need to do rather than worry about how the opposition play."
Last Sunday against Tottenham was wonderful to watch for a Liverpool fan. On Saturday, the players can go a long way towards putting the stumbling inconsistencies of recent seasons behind them and turning that result into something more: a beginning.