Simon Mignolet looks dejected at the Ataturk stadium, Istanbul
Simon Mignolet insists Liverpool can’t afford to dwell on their “devastating” Europa League exit as they prepare for Sunday’s crunch Premier League clash with Manchester City.
The Reds crashed out 5-4 on penalties to Besiktas after a 1-0 defeat at the Ataturk Stadium made it 1-1 on aggregate.
Dejan Lovren missed the decisive spot-kick as Slaven Bilic’s men advanced to the last 16.
Liverpool, who had practiced penalties in the build up to the game, now have little recovery time prior to Sunday’s noon kick-off at Anfield.
“Everyone is devastated to go out, especially like that at the end of 120 minutes,” Mignolet told the ECHO.
“Having put so much effort into the game, it’s a real disappointment to go out.
“We defended well for 120 minutes. We practice penalties every week in training but a shootout is always a lottery and it’s so disappointing to go out.
“We have to look forward and prepare ourselves as best we can. We need to recover and then go again on Sunday.
“It’s another big game and we need to try to get back to winning ways. We have to focus on the job in hand.”
We are together in good moments and in bad moments
Mignolet insists there was no blame attached to Lovren, who blazed his penalty over when he had the chance to take the shootout into sudden death.
It continues the £20million centre-back’s miserable start to his Reds career.
“I don’t want to single anyone out,” Mignolet said.
“I’ve always said when you win, when you lose, when you go through, when you go out, it’s always as a squad.
“You are always together in good moments and bad moments.
“I think 1-0 at home was a good result for us. Then you hope to score an away goal but it didn’t happen. Besiktas played well.”
We still have a lot left to play for this season
Going out of the Europa League means Liverpool must now secure a top-four finish in the Premier League if they are going to play Champions League football next season.
Mignolet believes they are capable of bouncing back and achieving that target.
“Of course we can do it,” he said.
“We always said we want to get in the Champions League for next season.
“We’re still in the FA Cup and we’re close to the top four in the Premier League so there is still a lot to play for this season.
“It’s not easy at this moment when you’ve just come out of the dressing room and we’ve gone out of Europa League but we have to put it behind us.
“On Friday morning our preparations start for the Manchester City game.”