Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet insists he does not feel the pressure which comes with the scrutiny of virtually each one of his performances.
The Belgium international was dropped in December after a run of shaky displays but since returning on Boxing Day – somewhat fortuitously after deputy Brad Jones’ was injured – he has looked a different player.
He has kept six clean sheets in 13 matches since returning to the side, and the two he conceded in Tuesday’s midweek win over Tottenham were the first conceded from open play since New Year’s Day.
“Day in, day out you are in the spotlight but the main job is to focus on the football,” he said. “You are always going to be under pressure but it is our job and you get used to it.
“It is not really pressure, it is something you enjoy as everyone likes to play in front of a big crowd.
“The last few weeks have gone really well so we have to continue in the same manner.
While Mignolet is comfortable being in the spotlight for his goalkeeping he is less so when it comes to his non-football activities. The Belgian, along with Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling, is the star of a new television advert after the club announced NIVEA MEN had signed a multi-year agreement to become their official grooming partner.
As a result, at the launch event at Anfield, he had to field questions about his pre-match grooming routine.
“Before every game I have a cold shower to wake me up,” was the extent of his response. He found it easier explaining how he coped with the big-match pressure.
“As a goalkeeper especially you have to prepare yourself mentally so I try to keep the same routine from the night before to kick-off,” he added. “You prepare yourself in the same way and if you get a certain routine it makes it easier as well.”
Raheem Sterling, who has yet to sign an “incredible” new contract being offered by the club, revealed he had taken up yoga to help with dealing with all the focus of being one of the hottest young talents in Europe. It is not going as expected for the winger.
“I’ve started yoga but it is nothing like I thought it would be,” he said. “They’ve got me doing press-ups and stuff like that – I thought it was more for meditation.”
Henderson, as the principal player in the television advert, was asked whether he could rival Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart – who has a high-profile shampoo contract – in the Premier League modelling stakes.
“I’d probably have to work on my acting skills a bit, I think Harty has got that down to a tee,” said the Reds vice-captain.
The players were speaking at an event to announce NIVEA MEN, the world’s number one men’s skin care brand, had become the official men’s grooming partner for Liverpool Football Club.