Football

Simon Mignolet warns team-mates to focus on Manchester United game

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Simon Mignolet insists that Liverpool must stay focused on Sunday's must-win match against Manchester United and not think about a potential top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

The Reds trail their North West rivals by just two points heading into Sunday's game at Anfield and a win for the Merseyside club would see them leapfrog Louis van Gaal's men into fourth place.

Poor start

From the beginning of the season, qualifying for the Champions League has been Brendan Rodgers' number one aim and despite a dreadful start to the campaign, Liverpool are in a great position to achieve that goal.

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The five-time European Cup winners are unbeaten in the Premier League since the turn of the New Year scooping 32 points from a possibily 36 and confidence is high in the Anfield camp. However, Mignolet knows how important this weekend's game is and stresses that Liverpool are concentrating on Manchester United only.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We will get prepared the best we can," the Belgian told the club's offical website.

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"We know it is a big game, and especially playing at home we want to get three points again. That is the only thing we will think about. We will prepare the best, as Manchester United will do, and we will be ready at kick off time.

"We are very pleased with where we are, but there are still a lot of games to play. We can't think about that, we have to keep going and do the things we are doing at the moment and we will see where we are at the end of the season."

Considering their start to the season, it is somewhat of a miracle that Liverpool are in contention for a top-four finish. The Reds took a miserable 14 points from their first ten games and Kopites looked to be settling for a disappointing mid-table finish following their almost title winning season previously.

Change

However, a change in tactics from Rodgers playing three centre-backs and wing-backs has seen the Merseyside outfit play quicker, more fluent football and performances have improved significantly.

Liverpool were dreadful in the Champions League this season, picking up just five points from six games in Group B and were demoted to the Europa League, where they didn't fare much better when knocked out by Turkish side Besiktas in the last 32.

European football is a massive part of Anfield life. They've won Europe's elite club competition five times and Kopites are desperate for their side to give them a good cup run across the continent. If Liverpool do achieve victory on Sunday, it will further cement their chances of qualifying for the Champions League for a second successive season.

Form

However, they have some form to reverse with the Red Devils. Rodgers' men were thrashed 3-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the season and the bragging rights are firmly with Liverpool's rivals.

The Manchester outfit go into Sunday's game in fine form, fresh off their 3-0 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur and Wayne Rooney, who grew up an Everton fan, will be desperate to get himself on the score-sheet.

Liverpool weren't convincing in their 1-0 victory against Swansea City last Monday however it was a battling performance and winning ugly is part of a team who is growing in confidence and strength.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Simon Mignolet
Manchester United
Liverpool

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