Howard: Long way back at Liverpool for Mignolet

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has questioned the stance of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers over Simon Mignolet, suggesting the Belgian may never get his place back at the club, ESPN has reported.

Mignolet was criticised for his mistakes earlier in the season but Rodgers stood by him until the Reds visited Manchester United last weekend, at which point Brad Jones got the nod instead.

Howard offered his Merseyside rival his sympathies and revealed he didn’t see the logic in taking a goalkeeper out of the team if they’re not performing. “I feel for Simon, even though he’s a Red. It’s hard as a goalkeeper,” he said. “I think the quote is ‘taking the goalkeeper out of the spotlight’. But it only sheds more light on him.

“I don’t agree with it. I think you have to go with a goalkeeper and appreciate that there are going to be ups and downs, especially in this league,” Howard continued. “It’s so fast, it’s so rough. It’s a tough league for goalkeepers. But I feel for him. It’s not easy.

“It’s a big confidence position. It’s not just about a goalkeeper having confidence. When you take him out of the team, and then you bring him back, there’s a question as to whether the team and the fans have confidence in him.

“I’ll be honest, I think it’s a hard road back. When you get taken out of the team, sometimes there’s no way back.”

Liverpool host Arsenal on Sunday having dropped below Everton on goal difference, the Toffees going into the top half of the Premier League by virtue of their Monday win over Queens Park Rangers. The sides drew 1-1 when they met earlier in the season.

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