Liverpool’s loss to Tottenham was emphatic and came at the end of a nearly two-month run of poor results for the club. The resulting criticism was inevitable and not entirely unearned, and a response was needed against Huddersfield Town a week later.
“You know when you play a good game and you know when you play a bad game,” said goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, reflecting on the week that was and Liverpool’s need for a response on Saturday—a result they got, even if it took a half in arriving.
Liverpool came out against Huddersfield looking flat, static, and almost like they were trying to eek out a draw away from home against a top opponent—they came out looking a bit like José Mourinho’s Manchester United does when they visit Anfield.
“Normally we play midweek which wasn’t the case this week,” Mignolet continued. “So that didn’t help because then a lot gets written and a lot gets said. You can only put [a bad loss] behind you with a good one. Everyone deals with criticism in a different way.
“Some guys read it, some guys don’t really listen to it, some guys try to stay away from it, some guys get angry. [For me] it is just about staying calm, not getting carried away, because that is part and parcel of playing for Liverpool. You have to deal with it.”
The second half, though, saw improvement. And now, the hope amongst the team, manager, and fans will have to be that it’s a sign the slump is over—that it won’t be a false dawn or a one-off result preceding another run of frustration and dropped points.
“It’s about making sure you get the right reaction,” he added. “That’s what we did and that is why we can be proud of it. We did a good job. We are happy with that. We can move on and look forward to the Champions League in midweek.”