It’s been a turbulent season for Liverpool shot-stopper Simon Mignolet.
The much-maligned Belgian has often found himself the subject of scrutiny from the club’s fans for his many underwhelming performances.
However, his fortunes - and displays - have somewhat improved since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp in October.
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A demotion as first-choice ‘keeper put his future at Anfield in doubt earlier this season, but after signing a new five-year deal in January, the 28-year-old appears motivated to prove his doubters wrong.
And now, in the build-up to his side’s Europa League final on Wednesday, Mignolet has revealed exactly what Klopp told him during his difficult spell.
Speaking to BT Sport, he said: “Those two weeks out of the team, you learn a lot through it. You get more experience and more calm and I learned a lot in that moment.
“I just tried to keep my head down, work hard in training, and just keep relaxed and calm and focused in the games you play.
“You have to trust yourself and that’s something the gaffer has said ever since he arrived.
“He told me that I need to believe in myself. If there’s one guy that needs to believe in your ability, it’s yourself.
“I accepted that and it was really good advice from him.”
Liverpool fans are still unhappy with Mignolet, though, and have been calling for a new goalkeeper to arrive at Anfield recently.
And they could get their wish. According to the Daily Mail, the Reds are in talks with Mainz shot-stopper Loris Karius ahead of a £5 million summer move.
The intention is clear: Klopp wants to provide competition for Mignolet, rather than merely replace him.
Nevertheless, Mignolet will need to be on top form if Liverpool are to secure their first European title since 2005.
They face holders Sevilla in Basel on Wednesday night following historic comebacks against Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
Victory over the La Liga outfit would be a fitting way to cap what has been positive first season in charge for Klopp, who has reinvigorated a squad that struggled under Brendan Rodgers.
Finishing eighth in the Premier League is far from ideal for the Reds yet famous results against Manchester City and Chelsea this season suggest there’s reason to be positive of what the future holds.
Champions League football could also be on the horizon should they emerge victorious in Basel - but improvements are most certainly needed.
Inconsistency has largely hindered Liverpool throughout the campaign and is an issue that must be attended to if they’re to challenge for the top four next term.
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