Simon Mignolet is a man on the cusp. Will he sit? Will he play? He is no longer the default goalkeeper for this Liverpool team. The rise of Loris Karius looms over him and many believe that Mignolet is not long for the day when his position moves from the goal to the bench. If not for Karius going out of commission with a broken hand before the season even kicked off, Mignolet would more than likely already have lost his place to the new, German sweeper keeper. But apart from some general Mignolet shakiness on set pieces and the fairly normal grumblings over the Belgian shot stopper’s propensity for not doing one thing or another in the proper way—dare I say it—Simon has done a decent job between the sticks. He may not yet know if there will be grass or concrete under his boots on Saturday, but Mignolet knows Jürgen Klopp’s game plan to dismantle Hull City.
“We’ll have to put them under pressure from the very beginning,” Simon says, “and then hopefully we can keep that momentum throughout the game.
“The gaffer wants us to take the game to the opponents rather than to sit off and wait to see what happens.
“We want to start on the front foot and not give a breather to the opponents.
“We worked very hard in preseason to make sure that fitness levels are there to maintain that pressure game throughout 95 minutes. Everybody is ready to do that.
Klopp knows the heights to which this team can reach. His boys have taken down big teams together. But, it’s clear, thankfully, that work is being done at Melwood to eliminate complacency in difficult matches against clubs who plan to frustrate us or play defensively.
“Last year we played well against the top teams,” said Mignolet, “and had good results against the top teams, but we were not as consistent against the teams where we should normally get three points.
“That’s the challenge for us this year, to be efficient and to make sure that sometimes you have to grind a victory out. Like we did at Chelsea.
“That’s something we’ll have to do against teams that are physical and play long balls. The mood and confidence is high in the camp, so let’s keep it that way.”
The mood and confidence over here in the fandom camp across the lake is pretty high, too. But someone’s been greasing the toilet seats and putting peanut butter on all the cabin door handles at night. So, kind of vulnerable, as well.