Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet hopes that Sunderland can recover from their disappointing campaign and improve next season.

The shot-stopper was in excellent form as he helped the Black Cats survive relegation by the skin of their teeth.

But the Belgian is sure that Sunderland now have a platform to build on next season.

“As a footballer, you want to do well and want to win games and finish higher in the table than 17th,” Mignolet told the Sunderland Echo. “On that point, it was a disappointing season. But then again, there’s a reason for that and hopefully next year we can do a lot better.

“Of course, when a new manager comes in, there’s new things around and since he’s come in, all the games we’ve played – apart from the Aston Villa game – there were positives.

“So that’s good for the future.”

Although Sunderland, who finished 17th, may not have had a productive season, Mignolet certainly did.

A string of impressive performances resulted on him being recognised as one of the league's top goalkeeper.

The 25-year old insists that him and his team-mates must reflect on last season and learn from their mistakes.

He said: “During the season, you don’t really think about how things are going because you still have a lot to fight for, even if that’s avoiding relegation.

“You’re focused on that – not what your hopes were in the past. So during the season, we were always looking ahead.

“But now the season is over, you can make a judgement on how well we’ve played and how bad we’ve played.

“Now is a time to look back over the season and for everyone to look in the mirror to see what they can do better for next season.”

Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio may face a battle keeping hold of his goalkeeper after his impressive season. Linked with Arsenal, Mignolet was the Sunderland fans' overwhelming choice for Player of the Year.


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