Belfast Telegraph

Mignolet keen to bounce back

Saturday was the first time since December 2012 Liverpool lined up without last season's two leading scorers Luis Suarez, who was sold to Barcelona in the summer, and Daniel Sturridge, out after getting injured on international duty.

The pair contributed 56 league goals between them last season as the Reds ran champions Manchester City a close second but Mario Balotelli, a £16million arrival from AC Milan, never looked like coming close to emulating either during the 1-0 loss to Aston Villa at Anfield.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet does not believe the team's failure to score was purely down to their absences, for one reason or another.

"I think we have more than enough players in the squad with more than enough ability and different types of players to create chances and score goals," he said.

"I don't think that is the reason we didn't manage to score. It was more about us conceding very early and Villa sitting back with two lines of five people, very much like last season against Chelsea.

"I am sure if we got one, there would be more than one, and that is why it is a frustrating night.

"It is something we have to take on the chin, move on, forget about it and make sure we score some goals on Tuesday (in the Reds' opening Champions League fixture against Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets).

"For me it is the first time in the Champions League so I am looking forward to seeing what it is like.

"I've heard the atmosphere inside the stadium is something special so I will look forward to it, but the most important thing is the three points.

"We have to do our jobs as professional players and get a good result because a good start in the Champions League is always important.

"We have to try to forget (the occasion), we have to look at it as a game to get three points and step onto the pitch and do our jobs.

"Once kick-off starts it is a game of 11 men against 11 men."

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