Rodgers backs ‘aggressive’ Mignolet

The Belgium international has featured in all of Liverpool’s matches so far this season, keeping a clean sheet only once, but he has been backed by his boss to improve

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has backed goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to remain “aggressive”, despite a series of 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 just once – 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 Champions League action on Tuesday saw them hold off a brave Ludogorets to win 2-1.

But, despite their continuing trend of conceding goals, Rodgers has backed “number one keeper” Mignolet to improve.

“He’s got plenty [of] experience,” Rodgers told reporters.

“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 also rejected the notion that Villa, who sit second in the table and are 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 on Saturday.

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