Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Simon Mignolet has lost the battle to be Liverpool's No 1, reveals boss Jurgen Klopp

Published 25/10/2016

Half chance: Simon Mignolet will start against Tottenham
Half chance: Simon Mignolet will start against Tottenham

Simon Mignolet will return for Liverpool in the EFL Cup - but manager Jurgen Klopp has made it clear the Belgian goalkeeper is now second choice.

Mignolet has had three inconsistent seasons at Anfield and lost his place to new signing Loris Karius for the Reds' defeat of Derby in the third round of the competition last month.

At the time Klopp said he had no definite No.1 but, with Karius having now played five games in succession, his thoughts have changed. Mignolet, however, remains a key figure in the squad and Klopp is keen to have him involved as Tottenham visit Anfield in the fourth round tonight.

Klopp said: "If nothing happens in training then he will play. But in this moment we have a No.1 and that's Loris Karius. That's the situation and what the goalkeepers know. I cannot leave them in doubt.

"There was a short period with the two or three games we (initially) gave Loris to see a bit more of him, but after the last international break I spoke to both and we made this decision.

"Of course, he (Mignolet) was not happy but nobody can see this in training. He is still working hard, improving, (doing) all he has to do. He is a very serious person and a good professional."

Liverpool have lost just once in 11 games in all competitions this season and Saturday's victory over West Brom has left them joint top of the Premier League with Man City and Arsenal.

That has fuelled further talk of a title challenge but Klopp is not interested in outside opinions at this stage of the season.

"I don't care," the German said. "It's normal that when you are in a good position people starting talking more positively.

"But I don't recognise what everybody is saying about us. Of course I recognise the mood around LFC and it's good, but we're in October. There's a long way to go.

"Nothing we have done up until now has been close to 100 per cent. We have to improve."

Liverpool were beaten in the final of the League Cup last season, losing on penalties to City. Klopp wants to go one better this time but insists putting right February's Wembley loss is not the prime motivation.

He said: "It's a negative sign if we lose a final and say we want to win it next year. It's a very big cup tournament. That is the reason we want to go and win."

Klopp said at the weekend he would welcome the prospect of Steven Gerrard returning to Anfield in some capacity following hints by the former captain he could soon leave the LA Galaxy.

But asked if there had been any further developments, Klopp said: "There is nothing else."

Tottenham, meanwhile, have accepted the Football Association's violent conduct charge against Moussa Sissoko, and expect the France midfielder to receive a three-match ban.

Sissoko has been charged by the FA for his off-the-ball elbow of Bournemouth's Harry Arter that was missed by officials in Saturday's goalless Premier League draw.

The £30m summer signing from Newcastle should now be banned for tonight and Premier League matches against Leicester and bitter rivals Arsenal.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino revealed the club will not contest the charge - and refused to criticise the 27-year-old.

"We accept the charge and move forward," he said. "When I saw it on TV, there was no intention but the elbow was in the face of Arter, that's clear."

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph