Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet has stressed that he does not want to be a backup goalkeeper, having reclaimed the No. 1 jersey earlier this month.
Mignolet replaced the under-fire Loris Karius in early December, following a number of high-profile errors made by the summer signing.
The Belgian began the season as the Reds’ No. 1 keeper while Karius was out nursing a broken hand sustained in the preseason, and he told the Times of India he hopes to keep his place in the starting XI for the long-term future.
“I’ve said all along I don’t want to be a No. 2 goalkeeper,” he said. “I’m 28 years old and I want to play week in, week out.”
Meanwhile, Mignolet believes Liverpool have a “real chance” of winning their first Premier League title this season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are currently second in the league standings — six points adrift of Chelsea, who are on a 12-game winning streak.
“We are feeling good,” Mignolet added. “This year Liverpool have been proving that we have a real chance to win the Premier League.
“We know it is going to be a very tough battle right to the end but these are the games we have to win.
“Until now I give almost eight out of 10 to the team for what we have achieved so far. But we are only halfway through.”
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher recently argued that Klopp should go out and purchase on-loan Torino keeper Joe Hart from Manchester City in January after he blamed Mignolet for the goal conceded in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over Stoke City.
However, in a separate interview with The Times, Mignolet has hit back at those claims and insists he kept his side in the game with an important save when Stoke were 1-0 ahead.
“Carra has been a critic of mine,” Mignolet said. “He wants goalkeepers to make big saves, but against Stoke if I don’t make the save against Joe Allen, then the game becomes much more difficult.
“It is 2-0 and Stoke sit in, play two banks of four and won’t come out of their own 18-yard box. I made that save and five minutes later Adam [Lallana] scores, 1-1.
“If you are fighting at the top in the Premier League then you cannot do that with a dodgy goalkeeper. It is not possible.”
While Mignolet is in a battle with Karius for a starting berth, he believes the competition, ultimately, improves the team on the whole.
“The goalkeeper’s union is seen as a cliche but it definitely exists because there are not many people who can speak about these things,” he added. “There is no hatred. No, no. It is not Loris’ fault that I was not playing and it is not my fault that Loris is not playing at this time.
“You know only one can play and so you fight against each other to get yourself better and, in the end, it makes the team better. OK, so we are not going to be like I am with my brother, or with Divock [Origi] or Georginio [Wijnaldum], but it is not like I take his chicken kebab off his plate when he is not looking.”