Mignolet: Reds not discussing final
Published 09/04/2015 | 22:56
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet insists no-one - not least Steven Gerrard - is talking about a potential fairytale FA Cup final send-off for the Reds captain.
Gerrard turns 35 on the day of the Wembley showpiece on May 30, which could be his final Liverpool appearance before heading off to Major League Soccer for a new career with the LA Galaxy.
Liverpool took a step closer to that scenario by booking a semi-final against Aston Villa next weekend with a narrow 1-0 replay victory over Blackburn on Wednesday, but it is not a subject for discussion within the dressing room.
"Nobody is talking about it. Stevie is the first one to acknowledge that," said Mignolet.
"He is the first one to acknowledge that we can't have any extra pressure on the team.
"He won't let us think in a different way. We just want to focus on Villa and the games before that.
"Before we speak about the final, we have got to get through the semi-final and the only thing we can keep in mind now is how to get past Villa. Then we will see what comes. Villa will be tough."
While Liverpool have booked their first Wembley appearance since 2012, when they went there three times on the way to lifting the League Cup and finishing FA Cup runners-up, Mignolet accepts it will count for nothing if they do not make the next step.
However, after back-to-back Premier League defeats he insists they cannot afford to allow the semi-final to distract their focus from Monday's visit of Newcastle.
"We are pleased to get to the semi-final. Once it is semi-final time we will make sure we are ready but everything comes step by step and Newcastle is next," he said.
"We are pleased with what we did against Blackburn but the next focus is the league.
"After the Arsenal and Manchester United games we didn't have much time to think about getting back to positive ways.
"Blackburn was a massive game and we needed to respond.
"It wasn't easy after the disappointment at Arsenal but the lads picked themselves up and we managed to get the result that everyone wanted.
"There is still a lot to play for. The only thing that we can do is take every game as it comes.
"When you are at Liverpool, you know you have to win every single game.
"After the results against Arsenal and Manchester United, we knew there was going to be criticism. You have to accept that.
"The only thing you can do is respond and we did that."