Liverpool vs Swansea: Simon Mignolet insists he has nothing to prove as he prepares to start at Anfield

The dropped goalkeeper has returned due to injury to Brad Jones

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet intends to use his axing from the side as a positive experience as he returns looking to prove he has benefited from the break.

Manager Brendan Rodgers said the Belgium international would be sidelined for an "indefinite" period after dropping him for the match at Manchester United a fortnight ago.

However, the 26-year-old earned an unexpected reprieve when Brad Jones was forced off with a thigh injury 15 minutes into the 1-0 Boxing Day win at Burnley, and Mignolet now looks set for a second chance against Swansea on Monday.

He and Rodgers held a frank meeting in the manager's office ahead of the Old Trafford clash, and Mignolet went away to work on his game during his spell on the sidelines.

While he has returned ahead of schedule, it does not mean he has not learned something from his exile.

"We spoke together and cleared up a few things and I think that was a positive discussion," the Belgian said.

"I will not discuss what we spoke about, but it was an honest meeting - why not?

"There is always a reason and discussion why, and I am a guy who always tries to speak and be positive and work hard on my game, and that is what I have done in this period with the goalie coach (John Achterberg) and Jonesy.

"Sometimes you have to make something positive from a negative thing like going out of the team, which I've tried to do.

"It is always difficult at first but I am a 26-year-old goalkeeper and I know what I have to work on, things in your game can still improve.

"You can reflect on your game and look at certain things where maybe, with the busy period we've had, you wouldn't have had the chance, and that is what I have done.

"You learn a lot and you can move on and hopefully we can build on that.

"I don't have to prove anything. The only thing I can do is work hard and do my best and show what I am capable of on the pitch."

Mignolet was mercilessly taunted by Burnley fans with almost every touch of the ball and he did not help himself by drilling one clearance into Danny Ings and scrambling to claim the loose ball while somehow allowing a Mamadou Sakho backpass to run out for a corner before he attempted to kick it.

But the goalkeeper, who has been under scrutiny all season, insists he does not hear the barracking, let alone allow it to affect him.

"I don't hear it. You get on with the game," he said.

"When I was in the Belgian second division, sometimes I played in front of 500 people and that is a lot more difficult than when you play in a ground with atmosphere because it is more difficult to focus yourself.

"You just focus on the job in hand, saving the balls that come across you."

Everton counterpart Tim Howard last week suggested it was a long and difficult road back after being dropped, but Mignolet rejected that suggestion.

"That is his opinion - I don't have to agree with it," he added. "You have to deal with the game how it comes.

"I played 75 minutes and kept a clean sheet and we got three points (at Burnley). I'll see what happens in the next game."

PA

Comments