Former player pinpoints surprise Liverpool star as major part of team’s revival

Former Liverpool defender Gary Gillespie has assessed the Reds’ surge up the table.

Liverpool hero Gary Gillespie has pinpointed previously under-fire shot-stopper Simon Mignolet as a key reason for the team’s impressive mid-season revival, the Daily Star reports.

The former Sunderland number one came under heavy criticism at the beginning of the campaign, seemingly drained of confidence and struggling amid the team’s slow start.

Such were his sub-par displays and presumed insistence on staying on his line, former Red Bruce Grobbelaar was staunch in his criticism and told the Daily Mail the Belgian international was 'worse than Dracula'.

However, five clean sheets in eight Premier League outings since the turn of the year have seen Mignolet’s stock rise and Gillespie feels he has played a major role in the team’s mid-season revival.

"Against Aston Villa, Simon produced a brilliant stop from Christian Benteke when it was still one-nil,” Gillespie told reporters from the Daily Star.

"He denied Seamus Coleman late on in the derby and his save from Erik Lamela in the win over Spurs was top-class. Keepers can never get everything 100 per cent right.

"So they need to be thick-skinned and I think Simon is. He's done very well recently and he has been a major part of why the team has enjoyed good form lately."

  Goals Conceded per GameTop Saves per GamePunches per GameCrosses Claimed per GameKeeper Pick-ups per GameAppearancesMins Played
Simon Mignolet 0.63 2.13 1.25 1.38 7.25 8 720

As per the table provided by Opts Stats, Mignolet’s form has been good of late but he has been helped by the Reds improving incredibly from a defensive perspective.

The 26-year-old has made on average 2.13 top saves, 1.25 punches and 7.25 pick-ups per match – figures which show that the pressure on the Merseysiders’ goal hasn’t exactly been overwhelming.

And when looking at their recent tricky encounters – Manchester City, Southampton and Everton – boss Brendan Rodgers will be delighted his back three plus Mignolet are in such good form.

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