Mignolet: We can only play one way

Simon Mignolet has admitted Liverpool can “only play one way” but need to find a way to defend better without sacrificing their forward-thinking style. 

Liverpool’s forwards have hit the ground running, the Reds scoring five goals in their opening two matches of the season.

Unfortunately, this has seen the Reds’ back four allow all defensive stability to not just fade away but rather go flying out the window.

The Reds kept four successive clean sheets at the back end of the 2016/17 season but have conceded four goals so far this season already, shipping three at Watford and despite a stellar showing by Simon Mignolet on Tuesday, still managed to find time late on to concede to Hoffenheim.

The Belgian keeper has admitted that Liverpool prefer to play on the front foot but conceded that they must learn to find a balance between going forward and defensive security.

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“We can only play one way and that is forward,” Mignolet admitted.

“We know that we can always score. We have so much style up front. We have so much talent in the squad that we have to use it. We have the qualities and our natural game will be attacking but we know we have to fill that in with a really defensive spirit. We know that is where we have to improve.

“We are not blind. Everybody knows it in the dressing room, but there is no point throwing everything away. A natural footballing side that goes forward, you cannot change that, but we know we have to mix that in with a good defensive, aggressive spirit to make sure they don’t score the goals.”

Liverpool certainly rode their luck in Germany, needing Mignolet to save a penalty from former Leicester City striker Andrej Kramaric and also requiring the Belgian to make two good open play stops from Gnabry and Wagner. The Belgian, however, believes the only thing we should be focusing on is the fact that Liverpool inflicted Hoffenheim’s first home defeat in 15 months.

“We take the result as it is. Hoffenheim showed that they are a really good side and we knew they were not going to be easy to play against,” he said.

“The outside world probably thought it was going to be easy for us but that is never the case in a Champions League game. We have the result now, the first leg is gone and we will try and see it out at Anfield. If we score one at Anfield it will be very difficult for them.”

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