Saturday 24 August 2019

Mignolet and Karius went out for dinner together last night - despite current fight for number one Liverpool jersey

Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet
Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet

Michael Walker

Goalkeepers are indeed different. Somewhere on Merseyside on Thursday night, the keepers of Liverpool were enjoying their Christmas gathering, Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet included.

The timing could well be sensitive as the meal comes 24 hours after Mignolet replaced Karius for Liverpool's 3-0 victory at Middlesbrough; but the older man, Mignolet (28), has offered seasonal understanding to Karius (23).

"We have got our 'goalies union' Christmas dinner tomorrow so we will go out for food," Mignolet said at the Riverside after keeping a clean sheet. He added that "all the goalies at Melwood" - Liverpool's training ground - would be going.

"There will be around ten. All the young boys will come along. We will keep it a secret where we go. The goalies union is something special. We only know our situation and what it is like."

Mignolet had already displayed some empathy. The Belgian said he discovered on Tuesday that he would be playing at Boro instead of Karius.

He did not speak to his colleague about it, but having been displaced himself and suffered criticism in his career, Mignolet knows the story.

"We are team-mates," Mignolet said. "The goalkeeper position is not an easy one. You can only speak about it if you are a goalkeeper yourself. No individual is more important than the club and the only important thing is the club.

"Obviously for Loris it won't be nice, but he is capable and professional enough to learn from it."

Asked if a keeper's mistakes are highlighted more than a striker's, Mignolet replied: "Yes, that is part of the goalkeeper's job. You have to be mentally strong to deal with it.

"We have Alex Manninger at the club and he has all the experience. He knows what it is to be a keeper. I am 28 and I have been through it. I know what it is like and it is not nice. You only get stronger from it. Especially at a club like Liverpool. One mistake gets really big out of nothing."

Given that Jurgen Klopp said there is "no time-frame" on Karius' return, Mignolet can expect to be in goal for Monday's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.

After just one win in their previous four Premier League games, Wednesday's return to form was welcome.

Liverpool are second in the table, six points off Chelsea, and Mignolet said of the squad's reaction: "The mood in the dressing-room was very nice after a couple of rough weeks when we did not get the points we wanted." (© Independent News Service)

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