Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers: Simon Mignolet looks a different goalkeeper

Brendan Rodgers highlights Simon Mignolet's recent improvement

Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool star Simon Mignolet looks a different goalkeeper after returning from a spell on the sidelines.

The Reds shot stopper was dropped from the Northern Irishman’s starting line-up after Liverpool crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage in early December.

Simon’s spell out of the team was to just take a step back, to analyse his performance, to see areas in which he could improve and clear his mind

Simon Mignolet

Liverpool’s second-choice goalkeeper Brad Jones started their next four games before the Australian suffered an injury during a 1-0 win at Burnley.

Rodgers reinstated Mignolet, and the Belgium international has cut out the errors in recent weeks after a disappointing start to the season.

“I think Simon has shown the benefits of having a little bit of time out,” Rodgers told reporters at his pre-match media conference on Thursday.

“I think he looks like a different goalkeeper. It’s difficult because when you’re playing all the time and you’re preparing, sometimes you won’t get that chance to reflect on your performance.

“Of course, nowadays, if you take a player out, whether it’s through rest or through trying to look after the player and allowing him to develop, [people will say] he’s been ‘dropped’. And that’s not always the case.

“Simon’s spell out of the team was to just take a step back, to analyse his performance, to see areas in which he could improve and clear his mind, knowing that he was going to get the opportunity to go again.”

The Liverpool number one has seven clean sheets in 20 Premier League appearances this season, equal with David De Gea, Thibaut Courtois, Joe Hart and Brad Guzan.

Remarkably, four of Mignolet’s seven shutouts came came away from home, securing three successive clean sheets on the road (Burnley, Sunderland and Aston Villa) for Liverpool for the first time since 2008.

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