Football - Mignolet takes rough with smooth

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is keeping a level head through the ups and downs of his maiden season at Anfield.

The Belgium international has had an impressive start to his career on Merseyside since his summer move from Sunderland but in the big games over Christmas against Manchester City and Chelsea he found himself scrutinised for two goals.

Errors have been in the minority for the 25-year-old and after keeping only his third clean sheet in 18 appearances against Hull on Wednesday Mignolet remains on an even keel.

"There is a difference between being hard on yourself and making sure you learn out of the things you have done before," he said.

"You have to make sure you look forward to the next game and step on to the pitch with the right mindset and so far that has not been an issue for me.

"The way I look at it is I don't get carried away with good performances and neither do I when things get a bit tougher."

The Belgian had it easy at Anfield on New Year's Day with Hull unable to register a shot on target.

That was handy as Liverpool were far from their fluent best but Mignolet said they have to expect teams to come to Anfield and try to frustrate them.

"Hull are not easy opponents as you saw away from home (a 3-1 defeat) but I thought we dealt with the game very well in the right manner, scored two goals and kept a clean sheet and that is what you have to do at home," he added.

"We are back in fourth position now and we have to keep going. That's exactly what we wanted after the performances in the Christmas period. It was very important to get back to winning ways.

"If you play at home you have to show everyone (who visits) they have to win the three points like we have done numerous times before and this game was very important to start 2014 the way we started the season.

"You can look forward again and make sure we keep building on what we've done.

"Every home game against sides like Hull is a very difficult game until we score the opener and even after that we have to score the second and third goals to finish off the games.

"It is very difficult to make sure we keep patient, pass the ball around and don't give too many opportunities to the opposition, especially from set-pieces. We have to make sure we keep professional.

"We can now look forward to the next game, which is a cup game on Sunday."

League One Oldham visit Anfield at the weekend looking to repeat last season's 3-2 home victory which knocked out the Reds in the fourth round a year ago.

It will be a different prospect at Anfield, where they were drubbed 5-1 in January 2012.

"We want to win any game. That doesn't make any difference whether it is the FA Cup, Capital One Cup or any other games - we try to prepare ourselves and make sure we get out of the game what we can get out of it," added Mignolet.

"It is a big opportunity as you can play at Wembley but that is far ahead of us.

"The next game is the most important and before you get to that stage you have to win a lot of games and against Oldham it won't be an easy game.

"We have to prepare in a professional manner and make sure we are ready for it when it comes along.

"For them it is already a cup final and they will come here and try to show everyone what they can do.

"We have to make sure we are professional and do a job."