Liverpool star Simon Mignolet backed by first-team rival Brad Jones

Brad Jones has backed Simon Mignolet in the wake of recent criticism.

Since making a £9 million move to Liverpool last summer goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has struggled to win over the fans at Anfield. While he has never truly put in an awful performance there is an aura of Mignolet that, for whatever reason, does not inspire confidence.

Considering he had to fill the gloves of Pepe Reina it was always going to be a difficult task for the Belgian.

In recent weeks Liverpool have been strongly linked with bringing in a player who can seriously challenge him for the number one spot. They are now believed to be the favourites in the pursuit of Victor Valdes - currently a free agent after leaving Barcelona in the summer.

Currently still nursing a knee injury back to full health Valdes reportedly rejected a trial at Liverpool, although his agent has now rubbished such speculation.

With all that in mind Mignolet will certainly be looking for all the support he can get.

One man who does have his back is Brad Jones. The Australian is currently the back-up goalkeeper at Liverpool, playing second fiddle to Mignolet.

But the former Middlesbrough star has nothing but warm words for his first-team rival, and cold words for pundits, like Gary Neville, who criticise him:

“I’ve seen enough over the years that people want to jump on the bandwagon and criticise people and as a goalkeeper you tend to get that. There are not too many people who speak highly of goalkeepers. They tend to want to put them down.

“He is strong minded enough to get on with his job and understand what happens. It is a shame that it happens because last season he produced some massive saves that helped us win games and people tend to forget them.

“Then the press jump on it and want to criticise him and say someone else is coming into the club and this and that.

"It is important to let him get on with his job and to continue doing the things he was doing last season.”

"I’ve never seen Gary Neville play in goal but he seemed to have a good opinion of it.

“Everyone has an opinion. What we work on in training is very match specific and match related. It’s just one of those things and there are too many opinions knocking about nowadays.”

It seems that Jones does not feel Liverpool have a need for Valdes, although he would say that. The arrival of the Spaniard would leave him third choice at Anfield.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch