Simon Mignolet believes a hug can go a long way at Liverpool and will be hoping the warm embrace of new boss Jurgen Klopp will inspire the Anfield club to Europa League success against Bordeaux.
Klopp has developed a reputation for embracing first-team players since taking over from Brendan Rodgers last month and his man-management skills have been credited with turning Liverpool into a side capable of winning 4-1 at Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday.
Bordeaux visit Anfield on Thursday and the home side will progress from Group B at the expense of Willy Sagnol’s men with a victory.
A goalless draw would also be enough to send Liverpool into the next round if group leaders Sion win at Rubin Kazan in the early kick-off.
And Mignolet warns the Ligue 1 club that Liverpool are a team high on confidence – largely thanks to Klopp’s affectionate approach.
“He’s done it [hugged] with all of the players,” he told BBC Radio Five Live. “That obviously gives you a good feeling because it means you know he is behind you and supporting you.
“That’s what you need as a player – you have to feel the confidence of the manager and the whole staff, [knowing] that they’re behind you and we’re working in the same direction.”
Liverpool will also be riding high after running riot at the Etihad Stadium, with Mignolet adding: “If you win away from home against the big teams it gives you a big boost and it gives you a lot of confidence.
“We’ve done it at Chelsea, we had a great result against Arsenal and also against Tottenham. And if you can then win with that kind of result it gets even better.
“Going into the next few games, for the confidence and for all the players, it will help us.”
Liverpool have lost just once since Klopp took charge – a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on November 8 – and sit ninth in the Premier League.
Bordeaux, meanwhile, are 13th in the French top flight and have won just three of their last 14 matches in all competitions.
The reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw – Jussie cancelling out Adam Lallana’s opener – but Liverpool have won 10 of their 13 home meetings with French clubs.
Bordeaux midfielder Clement Chantome commented: “[Liverpool] are a great team. It’s true that, after a difficult start, they now have good momentum.
“It will be necessary for us to be strong. We’ll have to leave very little space for their players.
“We will have to make the most of the opportunities that we have because, in this kind of game, what makes the difference is efficiency.”
Liverpool are likely to be without Philippe Coutinho, who picked up a hamstring strain at City, while Bordeaux have Wahbi Khazri suspended.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!