20 September 2014 05:19
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers backed goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to remain aggressive, despite shaky defensive performances.
The Belgian has been in goal for all of the Reds’ five matches this season across all competitions, but has kept a clean sheet in just one of those – their 3-0 win at Tottenham.
Liverpool conceded from a set piece to lose 1-0 to Aston Villa at Anfield in their most recent Premier League outing, while their return to UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday saw them hold off a brave Ludogorets 2-1.
Despite their continuing trend to concede goals, Rodgers backed Mignolet.
“He’s our number one keeper, he’s got plenty [of] experience,” he said.
“He just continues to work on that relationship with the back four and deal with that.
“The key thing, and the message to all the players in that situation, is make sure you are the front foot. Be aggressive, don’t wait for it.
“He’s a bit of a laid-back type of person in his personality. But I think he’s aggressive.”
Rodgers rejected the notion Villa, who sit second on the table unbeaten in four matches, set out to exploit a potential weakness in Liverpool’s set-piece defending.
“I don’t think Aston Villa targeted us with set pieces. We just didn’t defend them well enough. We brought the nerves on ourselves,” Rodgers added.
“We couldn’t have played against a bigger team the previous game against Tottenham and we were excellent. I just thought that we brought the nerves on ourselves at corners last week.
“So we have talked about getting organised quickly in the game, and doing your job, making sure your marker doesn’t get in front of you. At times, we didn’t defend it well enough.”
Liverpool travel to West Ham’s Upton Park on Saturday.