Mignolet: Getting dropped helped me

Under-pressure Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet said his removal from the first team has helped him develop.

The Belgian custodian, 26, was benched in favour of Brad Jones for the Reds' trip to Burnley on Boxing Day but a thigh injury to the Australian handed Mignolet a reprieve.

Mignolet was substituted on in the 16th minute at Turf Moor and he kept his sheet clean - and will get another chance to build on his form when Liverpool host Swansea City on Monday, as he returns to the starting XI.

Despite claims - including from Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard - Mignolet would struggle to resurrect his Liverpool career, the Belgium international said the demotion could have benefitted him.

"Yes, maybe it has helped me," Mignolet said. 

"The future will decide that. The only thing I can do is work hard.

"I spoke with the manager [Brendan Rodgers], cleared up a few things and I think that was a positive discussion. I will keep my head down, work hard and try to do my best.

"I won't discuss what we said but it was an honest meeting from both sides. Why not? That is always a positive thing.

"The negative thing was going out of the team but you try to make it a positive and that's what I'm trying to do."

Mignolet said he does not feel indebted for the sudden opportunity to fight for his place at Liverpool, despite the suggestion he could exit the club in January.

"I don't have to prove anything," he said. 

"The only thing I have to do is work hard in every game and do my best and then we will see what comes through.

"What more can I do? Hopefully we will build on our win at Burnley and the only thing I can do is show on the pitch what I'm capable of."

Mignolet also replied to Howard's comments, giving his Merseyside rival short shrift.

"That's his opinion, I don't have to agree with it," Mignolet retorted. 

"I have to deal with how the games come.

"I played 75 minutes against Burnley and kept a clean sheet and we got the three points. 

"I will see what happens in the next game."