Simon Mignolet recovered from a disastrous start to the season by re-learning to do what comes naturally.
Mignolet told reporters Friday that his tendency to over-think, not a lack of confidence, caused his form to plummet earlier this season, the Telegraph reports. Mignolet made a number of high-profile errors amid Liverpool’s troublesome period last fall, prompting manager Brendan Rodgers to drop him from the lineup “indefinitely” in December.
“What will happen if you?re over-thinking and you?re doubting things is it looks to the outside world that your confidence had gone,” Mignolet said, via the Telegraph. “But that was never the case with me. I have always been confident going into a game, always felt I will play my game. If you make a decision early and are decisive and commanding, people think, ?Oh he?s being a lot more confident now?. It?s a perception.”
Mignolet credits his fiancée for helping him realize that he needed to place more trust in his instincts when on the field.
“That was the time (after Liverpool’s win over Burnley on Boxing Day) I thought I had to change this,” Mignolet said. “That was the trigger in my mind. We had to sort this out. I was having dinner with my missus and she said to me, ?Simon, are you sometimes over-thinking stuff?? She comes to every game. We?ve been together since before I was a footballer and she knows my character better than anyone.”
Mignolet has reaped the benefits of working with Rodgers, goalkeeper coach John Achterberg and club psychiatrist Dr. Steve Peters on changing some technical and mental aspects of his game.
“It has gone very well ever since,” Mignolet said. I am playing better than before I was out of the team. Recognizing the right moment to make a decision — that is what we changed. High balls coming into the box, crosses, making a split decision coming out of the box, clearing balls, back-passes — there are things that are going better.”
Mignolet has helped Liverpool shut out five of its last eight Premier League opponents since he returned to the lineup on Dec. 26. They had just four shutouts in their first 21 league games before Rodgers dropped Mignolet.
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