Simon Mignolet is looking to repay the faith shown in him by the club after his £9m move from Sunderland and the loan exit of Pepe Reina to Napoli this week.
Reina had been at the club for eight years and leaves big boots, and gloves, to fill. And Mignolet is looking forward to representing the club for years to come.
“Now Pepe is gone, the only thing I can say is that I wish him the very best of luck in his further career,” he said.
“I haven’t spoken to him because he hasn’t been at the club in pre-season but he was a big player here.
“To be honest, it doesn’t really matter who played in your position before. Whenever you move to one of the biggest clubs in the world there is always going to be pressure on you.
“Pepe going doesn’t really make a difference to me personally. It’s the same as before as I just have to look at myself.
“I have to work hard, train hard and make sure I do my best in every single training session, regardless of what other keepers are here.
“Pepe may be gone but there is still a lot of competition in the squad with Brad Jones, Danny Ward and myself here.
“I have to focus on myself and show that I’m ready for when the season starts to do the job I’m asked to do.”
Mignolet understands that the £9m fee is big for a goalkeeper, Liverpool’s club record in fact, and wants to return the faith shown in him by Brendan Rodgers by continuing to improve.
“It’s been a big show of faith in me, not only by the manager but also by the club,” he said.
“Brendan has been very supportive and given me a lot of confidence which is what you need from a manager if you are a goalie.
“He speaks to me a lot and the welcome I’ve had from all the staff and players has been amazing.
“From the first day I arrived I felt at home, that’s what you want as a new player.
“When you are a goalie, everyone relies on you as you are the only player on the team wearing the gloves.
“The fee won’t play on my mind. I’ve got belief in my ability and I won’t think about that.
“When you are a goalie, you always have to make sure you keep a cool head.”
The Belgian has already been taken aback by the adoration of the Kop faithful, with them adopting an adaption of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ to include his name.
“I’ve heard it a lot over the past two weeks and I’ve been getting some stick from the lads about it,” he said.
“It seemed to be a massive hit at Sunderland so let’s hope it is the same at Liverpool.
“When the games gets going you don’t tend to hear those things but it’s always nice when fans get behind you.
“I hope they will support me as much as they can. That can only help you to play better and make you feel more comfortable on the pitch which is very important.”
Mignolet has been amazed at the level of support in recent destinations Jakarta, Melbourne and Bangkok for preseason friendlies.
“From the moment we arrived at the airport in Indonesia, it’s been an eye opener for me,” he said.
“There were thousands of fans there to welcome us. It’s been brilliant for me to experience this tour and be part of it.
“The amount of fans has surprised me. The crowds for the games in Jakarta and Melbourne were huge.
“They told me this tour would be big but now I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
“Melbourne was special, playing in front of 95,000 – I’d never played in front of a crowd that big before. When they started signing You’ll Never Walk Alone that was a great moment.
“When I was at Sunderland we went to Portugal, Austria and Korea for pre-season. We didn’t get crowds like this.
“It just shows Liverpool’s standing worldwide. When there is such massive support behind you as a team that motivates you even more.
“It reminds you who you are playing for every week and can only be a big help.
“It’s still the early stages of pre-season and it’s about getting our fitness up but things are going well.
“We just have to keep it going until the first league game against Stoke then we won’t have anything to worry about.”