Mignolet: Getting dropped by Liverpool has helped me

The Belgian missed three games in a row before injury to Brad Jones saw him reclaim the No.1 spot, while Brendan Rodgers is thrilled with Raheem Sterling’s displays in the centre

Under-pressure Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet says his removal from the first team has helped him develop.

Despite claims – including from Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard – that the Belgium international would struggle to resurrect his Reds career, the 26-year-old insists the demotion has actually proven beneficial.

“Yes, maybe it has helped me,” Mignolet told reporters. “The future will decide that. The only thing I can do is work hard. I spoke with [Brendan Rodgers], cleared up a few things and I think that was positive.

“I won’t discuss what we said but it was an honest meeting from both sides. The negative thing was going out of the team but you try to make it a positive and that’s what I’m trying to do.

“I don’t have to prove anything. The only thing I have to do is work hard in every game and do my best and then we will see what comes through. The only thing I can do is show on the pitch what I’m capable of.”

Mignolet also replied to Howard’s comments, giving his Merseyside rival short shrift.

“That’s his opinion, I don’t have to agree with it,” Mignolet retorted.  “I have to deal with how the games come. I played 75 minutes against Burnley and kept a clean sheet and we got the three points.”

Meanwhile, ahead of Swansea’s visit to Anfield, Rodgers expects Raheem Sterling to become increasingly prolific as his career goes on, after flourishing in a central striking role in recent weeks.

Sterling scored the only goal in Friday’s 1-0 win at Burnley and also grabbed a brace in a League Cup victory over Bournemouth earlier this month, but had previously endured a long barren run in front of goal.

“I think there are players who are naturally born goalscorers. They live to score goals, they want to score goals,” said Rodgers.

“I think it’s something you can develop with confidence over the course of your career. And I think you’ll see his numbers, as his career goes on, improve and improve.

“But for me I’m very, very happy with his performance. He’s gone into that role, he’s offered us a real threat, his pace in every game is phenomenal but he’s got that little composure now at the end.”

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