Simon Mignolet on Liverpool's approach to achieving Champions League qualification

Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Simon Mignolet

Liverpool are in Europa League action tonight before playing Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday. Both could prove vital in the Reds pursuit of Champions League football next season.

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet doesn't seem to be getting ahead of himself ahead of this evening's Europa League second leg against Besiktas.

The Reds hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg courtesy of a Mario Balotelli penalty, and finishing the job in Istanbul would mean the elimination of one of the strongest teams remaining in the competition.

He told the Liverpool website: "We want to play in the Champions League next year and there are five ways of doing that: making sure you get into the top four places of the Premier League or winning the Europa League.

"But let's not get ahead of ourselves and think about any final or winning the Europa League. Let's make sure we do our jobs at Besiktas."

Having qualified for this season's Champions League, Liverpool will be looking to do it for the second season running in order to continue their progress on the field.

It's vital Liverpool keep all avenues open for that and finish the job in Istanbul tonight, before they turn their attentions back to the Premier League, with the chances of the Reds finishing in the top four becoming more and more likely after a 10-game unbeaten run in the top-flight.

That record will face a stern test on Sunday when they face champions Manchester City at Anfield in a lunchtime kick-off. A win there would be a big statement as they chase down the sides ahead of them, with four points covering the places between third and seventh in the Premier League.

Mignolet added: "We'll make sure that once we get back from Istanbul we recover well for that game. But Besiktas is the only thing in our minds, that's the only thing we can think of at this moment in time, rather than thinking about the games that will come after that."

It will be interesting to see the effect that tonight's efforts in Europe will have on Sunday's performance given the short turnaround in between fixtures for Liverpool.

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