Sunday 22 January 2023 21:30

Simon Mignolet: “Positive second half reaction”

Two goals conceded in the first fifteen minutes: as rare as a four leaf clover for Simon Mignolet. A particularly lacklustre first half team effort was followed up with a much better second half performance, leaving room for hope, however.

“We took such a bad start to this game. Our first half was sub-par, allowing Charleroi to create chances so easily. We were 0-2 behind in no time, making it so much harder on ourselves. What's positive, however, is that we kept our heads high and showed an immediate reaction. Even in the first half, with that spot kick in the dying seconds. Our coach dotted the I's and crossed the T's at half time, and showed us where our responsibilities lied. It all starts with winning duels, fighting for one another, doing your job defensively, and only then you can start thinking about the style of football you want to bring to the table. We had a fine second half reaction, however, we really should be playing like that an entire game, it's something we need to take to the following games. If we could have started the way we played in the second half, we definitely would have been in a better position. When we conceded those goals, a lot of bad luck played its part. That's the situation we are in right now, and the only way to get out of this despondency is through hard work and by keeping our foot firmly fixed to the ground. Just do our job, roll up our sleeves and fight for each other.”

Simon Mignolet
Simon Mignolet

The coach demands a certain level of physical play, and the team needs to bring that to the pitch right now. "Playing an intense kind of game like that takes time to get used to. That duelling power, and those physical parameters don't come by just like that. It's a working point our coach stresses. At this point, the neutral observer only looks at the results, not at what we do for the rest.”

Next Wednesday, Simon is one of the main candidates to be awarded the Golden Boot for Belgium's best player in 2022. "2022 was a great year for me, better than the start of 2023, for sure. We'll see what the night will bring, I have no control over the proceedings. Winning the Golden Boot as a goalkeeper would be special, I would be very proud to see my name among the goalkeepers that have won it before. Competition will no doubt come from Union inthe first round, and from Genk which is having a great run in the second half of the year.” (KN)

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