Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet insists he is not getting carried away with his recent performances and believes the team will not let an impressive display against Chelsea affect their focus.
The Belgium international has conceded just one goal - Eden Hazard's penalty in Tuesday's 1-1 Capital One Cup semi-final first leg - in three matches.
He has been visibly better since unexpectedly returning to the side as a substitute on Boxing Day, having been dropped by manager Brendan Rodgers after a string of unconvincing games.
"I spoke to the gaffer about what I needed to work on during my time out of the team," he said.
Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1 player ratings
Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1 player ratings
1/22 Simon Mignolet
Could do little with Hazard’s spot-kick but quick off line to halt Costa in opening seconds of second period. Less busy of the Belgian keepers. 6/10
2/22 Emre Can
Played again in unorthodox position and gave Hazard opportunity to tumble and earn penalty. Stuck to task well thereafter and got forward. 6
3/22 Martin Skrtel
Led and cajoled his centre-back partners through a testing night and made a crucial challenge on Costa in the closing minutes to preserve draw for hosts.6
4/22 Mamadou Sakho
Relished muscular battle with Costa and rightly allowed to play on after Spanish-Brazilian went down easily outside area. Growing into the team.6
5/22 Lazar Markovic
Collapsed to ground in heap to earn Luis booking. Could not be faulted for lack of effort or application – but had little overall impact on proceedings.6
6/22 Jordan Henderson
Drove forward when chances arose and presented Chelsea with problems with his passing. Made Courtois work with strong shot from 20 yards.7
Remained back to allow Gerrard and Henderson to press on. Almost played Sterling through before the interval. Carded for bringing down Hazard.6
8/22 Alberto Moreno
Stationed further forward and never stopped running all night. Saw cross blocked by Willian. Fouled by Mikel but offered Reds help at both ends.6
9/22 Steven Gerrard
Tested Courtois with swerving effort and struck post after break before being replaced in forceful showing. Booked for chopping down Hazard.7
10/22 Philippe Coutinho
Fine ball through to Sterling was intercepted by Cahill and was main attacking threat behind Sterling as Reds sought to earn first-leg advantage.7
11/22 Raheem Sterling
So that’s what a break in Jamaica can do... Darted around but struggled to make an impact before driving through heart of Chelsea’s back line to level.8
12/22 Thibaut Courtois
Returned to side for first time since defeat at Spurs. Fine tip over from Gerrard and also Coutinho and Lallana. Strong handling and left exposed for Sterling goal.8
13/22 Branislav Ivanovic
Has rivalled Fabregas for assists in recent games and got forward well but was found lacking in defence. Often left others to make up ground for him.5
14/22 Gary Cahill
Struggled for form in recent weeks but made vital interception to stop Coutinho’s through ball. Failed to halt Sterling for equaliser.6
15/22 John Terry
Kept a lot busier than Saturday’s cakewalk of a match at Swansea. Troubled by trickery of a rested Sterling but kept focus as hosts turned up heat.6
16/22 Filipe Luis
Harshly censured after Markovic made most of his flailing arm. Shot over from outside area and was another to struggle with Reds’ intensity after half-time.6
17/22 John Obi Mikel
Nigerian brought back into team to allow Fabregas to move forward but does not offer same presence as the Spaniard. Lacking in composure. 6
18/22 Nemanja Matic
Kept ball flowing as Chelsea relied on counter-attack for their chances. Lost Sterling for the goal but his physicality added to an out-of-sorts defence.6
Pacy Brazilian was left to bail out Ivanovic on more than one occasion and his work rate put a few of his colleagues to shame. Taken off near the end.7
20/22 Cesc Fabregas
Deployed further forward in the hole behind Costa and linked up to great effect with Hazard in opening exchanges. As with rest of team, wilted after interval.6
21/22 Eden Hazard
Intelligent in possession but often a marked man. Enjoyed more spot-kick success than countryman Mirallas had in same city the previous night.7
22/22 Diego Costa
Not his best night. Fortunate to escape handball on stroke of half-time. Went close immediately after break but denied by rapidity of Mignolet.6
"I've just tried to keep my head down and work hard in training. I won't get carried away with one good performance. I have to keep doing my job every single week in, week out.
"That is my job. I don't have to get carried away with these kind of things - I just have to keep doing it. There are lot of big games coming up with a lot to play for and we all want to do well."
A recent upturn in form, culminating in a scintillating second half against Jose Mourinho's side, has renewed hope the Reds can achieve their targets in the second half of the season.
Rodgers reckons they can do what no other team has done since Atletico Madrid in April and win at Stamford Bridge next week.
But Mignolet stressed no-one can afford to let their concentration slip, especially with an FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Sky Bet Championship side Bolton on Saturday.
"That performance (against Chelsea) will give everyone a boost," he added. "We showed how much we have improved but the message is we can't afford to get carried away. Everyone needs to stay calm. If we get carried away, maybe the game won't be the same.
"Hopefully we can get the right result at Stamford Bridge and get ourselves into the final. But now we will think about the FA Cup tie against Bolton. That's on our minds before the second leg.
"Hopefully we can go into the next round of that one as well, and then we will focus on Chelsea."
Liverpool could have already had one foot in a Wembley final had it not been for the performance of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who almost single-handedly kept the hosts at bay.
Mignolet was not surprised. He knows all too well how good the 22-year-old is as he is currently keeping him out of Belgium's national side.
"The fact he had so much to do shows that we were the better side," he said. "He's a very good shot-stopper and he showed that.
"That is always good. Competition for places is always very good, and with Belgium we have a very strong side at the moment and in every position we have lots of players."
- More about:
- Liverpool FC