The Merseyside giants have been in fine form this season and currently sit in fourth place in the Premier League well on track to succeed their ambition of qualifying for the Champions League come May.
Not only have Liverpool managed to put themselves in a very string position in the league but they have outclassed a number of top-level opponents in the Premier League this term and can boast the league’s two top goal scorers in SAS partnership Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Many have pointed to Rodgers’ tactical decision, so astute and pragmatic at times this term, Liverpool have been the most progressive and exciting team to watch by far, with the possible exception of Manchester City. However, what Mignolet is now pointing to is how the manager gives his players confidence which is something other managers have failed to do this term.
We see the improved performances, improved technical levels, work rate and belief in a number of Rodgers’ players this season – the likes of Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and youngsters like Raheem Sterling whom he championed in his debut season in charge at Anfield.
“The gaffer gives everyone confidence. When you step on to the pitch you know that he’s behind you and supporting you,” explained the stopper.
“Everyone is trying to do their job the best they can and we need to keep doing that until the end of the season.”
I think it is this confidence that has made the most impact on the whole team as a unit and the players as individuals this term and it’s exactly that, confidence, which is lacking in, for example, David Moyes’ Manchester United squad this term.
Where last season we saw the Red Devils win the Premier League title in sensational fashion and finish 11 points clear under Sir Alex Ferguson, a true master in man-management, we have seen pretty much the same 25-man squad look timid, weak, unfocused, unsure and lacking commitment, consistency and belief this term under the new boss.
My aim is not to point out Moyes’ failing and Rodgers’ success but rather to demonstrate how much confidence plays a key role in the performance of teams and players.
Look at a player like Robin van Persie this term playing without any bite or conviction to his game, his body language says it all, his shoulders drop, his heads drops and he has started to point to the manager as the reason for his failure to maintain his Golden Boot winning form.
At Anfield, all we are hearing is high praise of the manager, the players are happy and excited, ambitious and enjoying their football, their challenges and expressing themselves week in week out on the pitch.
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