Brendan Rodgers has given his backing to under-fire Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, despite calls for the Belgian to be dropped following his latest error in midweek.
Liverpool legends Bruce Grobelaar and Jamie Carragher have been vocal in their criticism of the former Sunderland goalkeeper, but Rodgers insists he has the mental strength to get through a difficult period.
The manager said: “He’s fine. I had a good chat with Simon today.
“Simon has saved us in games – a number of games – in my time here. His form is probably just like the team’s – we all need to be better collectively as a squad.
“He is coping well. It’s never easy and I’ve always said, however it comes, you won’t like criticism whether it’s deserved or not. But it’s part of the sport and part of the game, all you can do is focus on being the best you can be in your next game and your next training session. That’s something he’s done. That’s our idea.
“The team gains confidence from each other. When you’re scoring goals, it has an impact on midfielders and defenders, and likewise when you’re keeping clean sheets, it has an impact on everyone.
“For us, it’s about collective responsibility – not just one player. If we’re to succeed, it’ll be about everyone.”
He added: “It [criticism] will come, we’re losing games of football and maybe not playing so well, and when you’re at a club like Liverpool, the focus on you is magnified because we’re one of the great leading clubs in the world, so you have to accept it as part of the job.
“He [Mignolet] is strong enough. You have to embrace it – if you’re going to be at this level of football, you have to be able to cope with the spotlight, whether it’s good or bad. It’s always going to be there because of the sheer size of the club.
“It’s a great club to play for, to work for, but sometimes it won’t always go your way and you have to be able to cope with it when it doesn’t and fight even harder to come back.
“You’re at a leading team in Europe and everyone’s watching every game and every move you make. For Simon, the spotlight is on him as well as on the team, but he’s a strong enough character to come through it.
“He’s a good guy, he’s working very hard on every aspect of his game, and like the team, his confidence will grow as the season progresses and he’ll become better.”