Mignolet: 'We can't slip up now in race for fourth'
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet admits Liverpool’s improved defensive resilience is making life a little easier for them and instilling confidence throughout the side.
A 2-0 victory over struggling Burnley - which the Belgium goalkeeper stressed was just as important as Sunday’s win over high-flying Manchester City - saw the Reds record their sixth clean sheet in eight Premier League matches.
They have now not lost in 12 league games, picking up 30 points, and have won seven of the last eight.
Liverpool were not seriously tested by the second-bottom visitors at Anfield on Wednesday night but Mignolet said that should not detract from the defensive work being done by the side.
“I think we defended really well. We were very organised and we didn’t give too many things away,” he said.
“A clean sheet is nice and I am happy with how things are going but we all have to keep improving and keep looking forward.
“We’re doing our jobs at the moment and we have to keep that going until the end of the season because it makes it easier for us to win games.
“Even at half-time, when it was 1-0, we were saying that we had to keep going because one goal can change the whole game.
“We wanted to make sure we didn’t give any silly goals away. We kept calm and defended well and then we got that second goal, which makes things a little bit easier for us at the end.
“Teams likes Man City and Chelsea lost points against Burnley at home so we needed to get three points, otherwise that win over Man City would have meant nothing.
“So six points out of six was what we wanted, and we can move forward and we need to keep going like this until the end of the season.”
Stand-in captain Jordan Henderson opened the scoring for the second successive game and the 24-year-old is growing into the senior midfielder role in the absence of Steven Gerrard, who returned to training this week after a hamstring injury.
Gerrard leaves for Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer and Henderson, as current vice-captain, is favourite to assume the armband on a permanent basis.
“Jordan is a massive player for us,” said Mignolet.
“He is a very positive character who always works hard and leads by example.
“He’s vocal both on the pitch and in the dressing room. He goes in front of us and everyone follows behind.
“We’ve got a young squad but that doesn’t mean there aren’t leaders in the team.
“Every individual is contributing to the team. The big thing for us is we’re a unit and we’re working well together.
“But individuals score goals and at the moment it’s Jordan, Philippe (Coutinho) and Studge (Daniel Sturridge) doing the business for us.”
Liverpool have not lost in the 13 matches Henderson has started as captain, with an incredible record of eight Premier League wins out of nine.
He made his 200th league appearance in the win over Burnley but admits his record as skipper is of less interest to him.
“The 200 games means I’m getting a bit older - which is not nice - but the captain one doesn’t make any difference to me,” Henderson told liverpoolfc.com.
“I just try to do what I always do and lead by example, whether I’m captain or not, and so does everyone else.
“The performance and the points are the most important thing - I’ll let everyone else look at the stats.”