After stopping a penalty in his very first competitive match in red, Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was bound to hit a rough patch that would see his form called into question time and time again. After an allegedly rough January in which the Belgian kept two clean sheets in in four league matches, Mignolet is set to double his efforts between the sticks.
"I had a difficult month but you are going to get them as a football player," he reflected. "You are never going to get everything go your way and you have to accept that. I didn’t change anything. I just tried to stay focused and do the things I’m asked to do. As a keeper I just try to help the team out whenever I can."
As Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge strike fear into the hearts of defenses across the Premier League, Mignolet is blessed with having to only face them daily in training, an experience that can only help improve his game given their rich run of form. Add a surging Raheem Sterling to the mix, and Mignolet has perhaps the best training regime in the league.
"It’s nice to work with Luis and Daniel day in day out as it makes you better as a keeper," he explained. "We all know what they can do and it’s unbelievable. I see that quality every day. When you are one v one with strikers of that quality you learn a lot of things.
"The gaffer spoke the other day about how well Raheem is doing. He’s very strong and very determined. Raheem wants to do well week in week out and long may that continue. There are a lot of young players battling to get in the England squad and he’s certainly one of them."
Whether Liverpool can maintain their current points-per-game remains to be seen, but it can't hurt for Mignolet to tighten up his own game as the season wears on. Liverpool's defensive frailties have been well noted, and sometimes a keeper just gets beat, but Mignolet will want to work with the back four to keep that goals against tally down and the goal differential stats up.