Liverpool manager believes the Belgian goalkeeper will emerge stronger from his slump in form and has no intentions to drop him.
Brendan Rodgers is willing to keep faith on under-fire Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and is confident that the Belgian will emerge strongly from this poor phase. Mignolet’s costly error against Bulgarian champions Ludogorets in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw led to talks that he might be dropped for Saturday’s clash with Stoke City. However, Rodgers indicated that he has complete faith on Mignolet and will continue to start.
“Simon is fine,” Rodgers said.”I had a good chat with him today. The club paid a lot of money for Simon to come in and he has saved us in a number of games during my time here.”
“His form has been like the team. We all need to be better collectively.He is coping well. It’s never easy, however it comes, you won’t like criticism, but it’s part of the game.You just have to focus on being the best you can be in the next game and the next training session.”
“When you’re at a club like Liverpool, the focus on you is magnified because we are one of the leading clubs in the world. You have to accept it as part of the job.”
“He’s certainly strong enough to deal with it. You have to embrace it if you are going to be at this level of football. You have to be able to cope with the spotlight whether it’s good or bad.”
“This is a great club to play and work for. When things don’t go your way, you have to fight even harder and stronger to come back.”
“When you’re playing for a leading team in Europe everyone is watching every move you make.For Simon, the spotlight is really on him but he’s a strong enough character to come through it.He’s a good guy working hard at every aspect of his game. Confidence will grow throughout the team as we become better.”
Rodgers acknowledged the fact that his side have looked disappointing in the domestic league but feels that things will improve very soon.
“In the Premier League, we haven’t been good enough in our performances or consistent enough – that’s my responsibility,” Rodgers told. “In the Champions League, we still have it in our hands.”
“It was always going to be a very close group; all the teams have shown they are good teams. Basel are a team that have got experience in the competition, and Ludogorets in their first year have had some good results. To win in your final game at home, when I thought at the beginning of the competition that would be the case, I’m happy to take that.”
Rodgers revealed that Balotelli will miss the Stoke game as he is still suffering from a groin injury.
Probable Line-up (4-3-3): Simon Mignolet; Javier Manquillo, Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno; Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson, Emre Can; Raheem Sterling, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana