“We want to win a trophy,” Simon Mignolet said in his interview with the club’s official website. “The League Cup is the first trophy we can win in the season. At Liverpool Football Club, you want to win trophies.”
Sadly for Mignolet, he, along with every other Red who has arrived after the last League Cup triumph in 2012, has failed in that all important task of winning trophies. There have been close calls, of course. Mignolet was our number one as we lost the title by 2 points in 2013/14. He was between the sticks for our League Cup and FA Cup semifinal exits in 2014/15. And again when Liverpool fell to Manchester City on penalties in the League Cup final last year, and in regulation to Sevilla in the Europa League final.
If Liverpool manage to find a way past Leeds United tonight, they will once again find themselves on the cusp of ending their silverware drought. It’s a fact that is not lost on the pear monger.
“We have a chance, being already in the quarter-finals and with a lot of teams knocked out of this competition. We want to move on and progress to the semi-finals.
“But you can’t really think about [winning] it yet. Leeds is going to be a very tough fixture. We have to get ourselves in the right frame of mind to get the victory against them. Then we’ll see.
“There’s no point in thinking about what’s coming – Leeds will be tough enough.”
At this stage in the competition in seasons past, the likes of Brad Jones and Adam Bogdan would be taking their place in the squad. This year, Mignolet has lost his starting job to Loris Karius. It’s good for Liverpool to have such a strong backup, but obviously a blow to the Belgian. However, he appears to be in decent spirits, still eager to push on and prove himself.
“You train every day to show the manager you are ready to play. If you get the chance, you want to show what you can do on the pitch.
“I’m really excited for this game. Hopefully we can go through to the next round. That’s the most important thing; my individual performance always comes second.
“We want to get through because after that would be the semi-final. We went to the final last season and this year we want to win it. It would be a major step. Let’s hope we can do the job.”
An early bit of silverware would be a just reward for players who have repeatedly come so close over the past several season, but can’t quite get over the line. Here’s to hoping this is the year we end our silverware drought (among other things).