Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has backed teammate Loris Karius to bounce back after the latter was dropped
Karius put in some poor showings in Liverpool’s loss against Bournemouth and their draw against West Ham, with his errors leading to disappointing results for the Reds. The German came in for some harsh criticism from pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville before his manager Jurgen Klopp waded into the debate and slammed Neville.
Karius spilled the ball from a relatively tame shot against Bournemouth, and was poor overall, which allowed Bournemouth to capitalise and mount a brilliant comeback to win the game 4-3. He was also wrongly positioned for Dmitri Payet’s free-kick against West Ham, and was clearly bereft of confidence for the second goal when he couldn’t decide whether to charge down Michail Antonio or not, leaving the midfielder with a simple finish.
Klopp opted to drop the 23-year old for Liverpool’s emphatic win against Middlesbrough, with Simon Mignolet regaining his place in the first team. Klopp later explained that he dropped Karius in order to protect him from a further loss in confidence, but Mignolet feels it is only a matter of time until Karius bounces back.
“That’s part of the job and you have to be mentally strong to deal with that” said Mignolet, according to the club’s official website.
“I’m coming up to 29, and I’ve been through it as well. It’s not nice.
“You only get stronger from it, especially at a club like Liverpool Football Club. One thing gets really big out of nothing. We are team-mates, we all have to get through it and push each other. For Loris, it will not be nice. But he’s more than capable and professional enough to deal with it and learn from it.”
“He will only get stronger from it.”
Mignolet is no stranger to criticism himself, with many pundits and ex-players saying the Belgian is not good enough for a club of Liverpool’s stature. Mignolet struggled for consistency under manager Brendan Rodgers, with several of his errors costing Liverpool precious points.
It was also Mignolet who was dropped in favour of Karius by Jurgen Klopp 3 months ago and many linked him with a move away from Anfield as a result.
However the Belgian has now regained his place in the team, at least for the moment. The 28-year-old put in a strong showing against Middlesbrough, with his save against Viktor Fischer standing out in particular. It appears for the moment that Mignolet is first choice once again, but Karius can take some solace in the fact that he has the support of his teammate despite the competition.