Mignolet: Reds defence still solid

first_img Injuries to the likes of Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure, Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique at various stages of the season have resulted in a lack of consistency in terms of those named in the back four. While they have lost only three league matches and are scoring a lot of goals, particularly at home, Brendan Rodgers’ side are not averse to letting one slip in at the other end. “The most important thing is to try to win the game.” With Steven Gerrard missing with a hamstring injury Liverpool head into an important game at Tottenham on Sunday without their influential captain. However, the Reds goalkeeper expects others to raise their game and take on added responsibility. “We have other leaders in the team as well,” he said. “We have a decent enough squad to deal with injuries, to cope with those kind of things. “I am sure someone else will be ready in the dressing room if the gaffer asks him to play. “Every game we go into hopeful of getting three points. We will go to Tottenham and be positive.” Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet insists regular defensive switches have not been the cause of the Reds’ failure to keep clean sheets. They have kept a clean sheet only once in the last dozen games but Mignolet refused to blame uncertainties in defence. “All the players who are there are professional enough to deal with that,” said the Belgium international, who has enjoyed an impressive start to his Anfield career since arriving from Sunderland in the summer. “All the defenders here are very organised, motivated and concentrated. “We need to do a job. It doesn’t matter as a keeper who is in front of me. “I work day in, day out with the lads. I know what they can do and it doesn’t affect me whether the defenders change.” Mignolet would obviously like to improve his personal record but insists that is not the priority. “You want to keep clean sheets – that is what I am there for – but you are just one part of the team,” he added. “It’s what you look forward to before a game starts but if we keep winning 4-1 until the end of the season I’ll be a happy chappy. Press Associationlast_img read more

Read More →

Kacaniklic extends Fulham contract

first_img Several Fulham players, including the likes of Philippe Senderos, Steve Sidwell and John Arne Riise, are out of contract at the end of the season. For now, head coach Rene Meulensteen is more focused on trying to add new faces to his struggling squad, who are just one point above the relegation zone. Meulensteen revealed on January 14 that Fulham had made a bid for West Ham star Ravel Morrison. That angered the Hammers, who complained to the Premier League. It has been reported that the Cottagers have lodged a second bid for the 20-year-old, but mindful of West Ham’s complaint to the authorities, Meulensteen remained tight-lipped when quizzed about the former Manchester United player on Thursday. “I can’t (speak about it),” the Dutchman said. “There are things that have been in the papers and they have been quite accurate and I have nothing more to add.” Meulensteen was more forthcoming on another target – Leicester defender Liam Moore. Leicester turned down an initial offer from Fulham for Moore, and it appears that the Cottagers are unwilling to give up on the 20-year-old defender. Fulham have announced that young midfielder Alexander Kacaniklic has signed a one-year contract extension. Kacaniklic, 22, was out of contract in the summer, but the London club have decided to retain the player for another year. The Sweden international, who joined Fulham from Liverpool in 2010, has played 38 times for the Cottagers, although he has started just 10 Barclays Premier League games so far this term. “We have put a bid in,” Meulensteen said. “Whatever has come back is on (chief executive) Alistair (Mackintosh’s) table. That is ongoing.” Meulensteen also revealed that midfielder Derek Boateng, who has made just one Premier League start since signing for Fulham, could leave Craven Cottage this month. “There has been interest from Watford and Evian,” Meulensteen said. “They have come to the table so that is an ongoing discussion between the clubs and players.” Meulensteen revealed for the first time that he is interested in signing defender Neil Taylor from Swansea. Meulensteen is after a left-back to challenge Kieran Richardson and John Arne Riise. The Fulham manager reckons the top clubs in the league would already have signed Taylor had he not suffered an ankle injury that kept him out for eight months last season. “We have put a bid in. It’s on the table. It’s simmering,” Meulensteen said. Despite being the subject of a Premier League probe because of his favourable comments regarding Morrison, Meulensteen seemed happy to talk about Taylor. “I rate him,” the Fulham boss said. “I rated him when I was at United. The boy was very unfortunate. He had that horrific injury at a time when he was really playing at his best and he had top four qualities.” Meulensteen will face one of the biggest tests since taking over at Fulham over the next few days. Fulham play Sheffield United in the FA Cup on Sunday before they take on fellow relegation candidates Swansea on Tuesday night. The Cottagers then host Southampton, making it three games in seven days for the west London club. “It is unfair,” the former Manchester United coach said. “It forces you to utilise the squad but that is why we have a squad.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Read More →