Simon Mignolet: I'll keep fighting for my place, I don't want to be No.2 at Liverpool

Simon Mignolet: I'll keep fighting for my place, I don't want to be No.2 at Liverpool

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has admitted his frustrations at being second-fiddle to Loris Karius in recent weeks, but vowed never to give up the fight to become Jürgen Klopp's No.1.

Charlie Malam

Simon Mignolet has vowed never to concede defeat in his battle with Loris Karius to be Liverpool's No.1 goalkeeper, insisting that it isn't in his character to just give up.

Jürgen Klopp restored the Belgian to his line-up for Tuesday's EFL Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield, his first appearance since September 16. 

He was forced to watch from the bench for league wins over Swansea City, Hull City and West Brom as well a draw against Manchester United and a 3-0 victory at Derby County in the previous round of the cup.

But on his return to the team, Mignolet fared well barring only or two instances of nerves with the ball at his feet, making some good stops and being unlucky not to keep a clean sheet when Spurs won a penalty and made it 2-1 late on.

However, it is expected that the 28-year-old will drop to the bench behind Karius for the trip to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace this weekend.

Despite that, Mignolet insists he doesn't want to endure a lengthy spell outside of the first-team again.

He insisted that he was "happy to play" against Tottenham, as two Daniel Sturridge goals ensured the Reds' progress, because that's what he wants to do "week in, week out."

"I don't want to be a number two, that's clear," declared Mignolet. "I want to play. I will keep fighting to get my place back."

The former Sunderland shot-stopper insisted that he "will never give up fighting" because it isn't in his character "to just give up" and because he is "not in a situation" where he "can sit on the bench."

He continued that because he is 28 years old, he wants to play regularly and said that he will "work hard" and "never give up" in his ambition to do so.

"I see it as a challenge that I can overcome," Mignolet said, reiterating that giving up is "not what I want to do" as he hoped that the competition between himself and Karius is "a fair challenge based on performances put in on the pitch."

Mignolet: 'The only thing I can do is keep working hard and play my best'

The Reds' No.22 has only ever experienced a spell out of the team once before when poor form under previous boss Brendan Rodgers led him to be dropped for Brad Jones in the Christmas period of the 2014-15 season.

But Jones lasted just four games before picking up a muscle injury and after replacing him at Burnley on Boxing Day, Mignolet shone upon his return and was one of the side's best players in the second-half of the campaign.

Yet, the 'keeper has still experienced inconsistent spells of form since then. He is still criticised for his distribution - considered inferior to that of Karius - although his commanding of his area has improved significantly having previously been a notable flaw.

Klopp has recently made it categorically clear that summer signing Karius is his No.1 - which suggests that the German will reclaim his starting spot at Palace.

And Mignolet insisted that he didn't "want to think about" Karius already being the manager's first-choice, because it's "not in my character."

He explained that he "will always support the team and the club" and that he remains "a Liverpool player" and is always "grateful for the support" of the fans.

He stated that it is "always nice" to have the backing and "hear that they are behind you", acknowledging: "The only thing I can then do is to play my best, work hard and keep my head down like I've always been doing." 

Mignolet feels that he can't complain that he's let himself down provided he maintains his current work ethic, saying that he wants to keep his head up and "be professional."

While second-choice to Karius, he admitted that he can "only do my job to the best of my ability" and "be the best I can" to then "hopefully" get another chance "to show what I can do."

"I don't want that to take long," added Mignolet on a return to the team, saying that he was "happy" with his performance against Tottenham because he managed "to help the team out in important moments."