Saturday 18 November 2017

simon heads reds inquiry

Mignolet aims to sort out 'Pool's issues with team-mates

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet admits he and his defenders were so keen to sort out their problems at the back they began the inquiry on the journey home from Arsenal.

The Reds were ripped apart in the first half at the Emirates and went in 3-0 down, eventually losing 4-1 to slip to a second successive defeat.

Manager Brendan Rodgers had to deny claims a crisis meeting had been held in the aftermath but Mignolet said some of the players had taken it upon themselves to try to sort out their shortcomings while travelling back from London.

"You always look for certain things you can do better and what went wrong," he said ahead of a crucial FA Cup quarter-final replay at SkyBet Championship side Blackburn.

"I always speak to the defence and on the way back from Arsenal we talked through a couple of things.

"You always try to take the positives and negatives out of the game. I'm my own biggest critic and you analyse your games in a critical way together with the goalkeeping coach.

"You see afterwards what you could have done better.

"The good thing is that if there is a game coming so close afterwards, you can go into that game looking forward to making sure that you put things right.

"It's a massive game against Blackburn, we knew that beforehand. It's not going to be easy and it's going to be a totally different game to the one away at Arsenal.


"It will be tough, but we want to get through to the next round and put in a performance to make sure that we play in the semi-final at Wembley."

Mignolet's form has improved since returning to the side after being briefly dropped in December, having changed his approach.

"The goalkeeping coach, the gaffer and the fans asked me to be commanding and demanding," he added.

"Before the game, Kolo (Toure) reminded me that I had to keep him on his toes with it being his first game for a while.

"I've done that ever since I came back into the team, to be loud and help the team out, organising and helping them in a positive way.

"Organising the defence is something that is very important and I try to do my best every single day in training to make sure the lads get the information they need."

Rodgers is of the view that the recent defeats are down to his players' own failings rather than the opposition having cracked their system.

The Reds' 3-4-2-1 formation, implemented from mid-December, helped produce a 13-match unbeaten Premier League run which lifted them to within a win of breaking back into the Champions League qualification places.

But despite receiving plaudits for the quality of their football, which at times appeared to be unplayable, flaws started to appear a month ago when they were held to a goalless draw by Sky Bet Championship side Blackburn in the FA Cup.

After scraping a win against Swansea they were then exposed by Manchester United and Arsenal, two teams already in the top four.

However, Rodgers insists a drop-off in results is more to do with their own performances than those of their opponents.

"I don't think it's about being worked out. We didn't start well (against Arsenal), and it doesn't matter what system you are playing if that happens," he said.

"In the last four games that we've played we haven't created as much, and that's more on ourselves.

"Of course you give opponents credit but every team will go into a game to defend well and work hard against you."

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