‘Painful final defeats made Liverpool stronger’ – Mignolet sees Premier League leaders benefitting from heartache

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Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Champions League 2018-19
The Reds came unstuck in League Cup, Europa League and Champions League showpieces under Jurgen Klopp before finally scratching a trophy itch in 2019

Liverpool are stronger for the pain they suffered in the past, says Simon Mignolet, with final setbacks in the League Cup, Europa League and Champions League considered to have made the Reds the trophy-collecting machine they are today.

When Jurgen Klopp took the reins at Anfield in October 2015, one of English football’s most decorated clubs had gone more than three years without major silverware.

That barren run would stretch towards the seven-year mark as Liverpool continued to struggle in getting over the final hurdle in domestic and continental competition.

A memorable 2019 was to be enjoyed, though, with Champions League glory opening the floodgates for those on Merseyside.

UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup crowns have been added to Klopp’s roll of honour, while just two wins will be required to wrap up a first Premier League title triumph when English football resumes on June 17.

Mignolet expects the Reds to remain in contention for prestigious prizes heading forward, with near misses having made them even more determined to establish an era of domination.

The Belgian goalkeeper, who left Anfield in the summer of 2019, told LFCTV: “To be honest this season, already I think the basis was set in the winter time last season.

“We were winning every game at home, we were very tough to beat, we didn’t concede and we were very stable. But, I think if you win something then you get the confidence of trying to be or being unbeatable and looking forward for the next medal you can win. 

“I also think losing in the Europa League final and then the Champions League final will have helped because going through that it’s not nice and it’s not easy, but I think you learn things like that also. 

“It gets you ready for the next final you have to play and I think that also came in handy last year when we had to play a final against Tottenham, so I think now the team is mature enough to deal with that.”

Alisson Simon Mignolet Liverpool

It is now 12 months since Liverpool first returned to the winners’ enclosure, with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano home taken in on June 1, 2019.

Mignolet was on the bench for that contest, as Alisson figured between the sticks, but the Belgian holds fond memories of a sixth European Cup triumph for the Reds.

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He added: “[It was an] amazing feeling.

“When I arrived at Liverpool the aim was to fight again both at the top of the English Premier League and in Europe. Before I left we won the Champions League.

“It was brilliant and I think we deserved it as well throughout the campaign. For example, the game against Barcelona. I think we deserved to be crowned Champions League winners and I’m very proud and happy that I was part of it.”