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Simon Mignolet no longer Liverpool number one, says Jurgen Klopp


Simon Mignolet has dropped down the pecking order at Liverpool

Simon Mignolet has dropped down the pecking order at Liverpool

Simon Mignolet has dropped down the pecking order at Liverpool

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 number one 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 on Tuesday.

Klopp said: "If nothing happens in training then he will play, 100 per cent.

"But in this moment we have a number one 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 little bit more of him, but after the last international break I spoke to both of them and we made this decision.

"Of course, he (Mignolet) was not happy about this but nobody can see this in training. He is still working hard, improving, (doing) all that 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 Manchester 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 in football that when you are in a good position people starting talking a little bit more positive.

"But I don't recognise too much what everybody is saying about us. Of course I recognise the mood around LFC and it's good, but we're still in October. There's a long way to go so there is nothing to say about this.

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

Liverpool were beaten in the final of the League Cup last season, losing on penalties to Manchester 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 we say we want to win it next year. It's a very big cup tournament. That is the reason we want to go to the final 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 Reds captain he could soon leave the LA Galaxy.

But asked if there had been any further developments, Klopp said at a press conference: "There is nothing else to say about it."

The Spurs clash could also offer Danny Ings an opportunity to catch Klopp's eye.

The 24-year-old missed most of last season with a cruciate ligament injury following his move from Burnley and has made just one appearance, as a substitute, this term.

Ings has been biding his time in the Under-23s and Klopp has been pleased with his attitude and his willingness to play at that level.

Klopp said: "If I was less sensitive I would say that is his job, but I am sensitive and I know that is not easy. He has taken the situation in a perfect way.

"But it is all for him. He was a long time injured. He is fit now, everything is good and, with his attitude, all will be good in the end.

"At the moment his situation is not too easy - we have Roberto (Firmino), Daniel (Sturridge) and Divock (Origi), so there is not a lot of space - but he will be involved in the squad tomorrow."