When a football match kicks off, Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet attempts to simply put all of the sub-plots and intricacies of battling at the top of the Barclays Premier League to one side.

Indeed, they go 'out of the window' according to the Belgian, who has played every single minute of the campaign as Brendan Rodgers' team have catapulted themselves into first place.

The Reds' five-point advantage over Chelsea - earned with an 11th consecutive victory last weekend - must be defended when the London outfit travel to Anfield for a mammoth clash this Sunday.

An obvious highlight of the worldwide sporting schedule, much discussion will be centred on the meeting before and during the match; it won't affect Mignolet in the slightest, however.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: "As a team and as an individual as well, the only thing we can think about when we step onto the pitch is to do our job and to try to do the best that we can.

"Everything else goes out of the window; once kick-off starts, there's only one thing on your mind - that's playing football. Every game, there are three points to win and three points to lose.

"If you do well as a team, you get those three points. That's what we've done for the whole season, so why change that for the last three games?"

The No.22 added: "Once the game starts, it's all about the ball, your job and your role on the pitch. That's the only thing you can think of. You don't think about those other things anymore once the ball starts rolling."


Rodgers and Liverpool know that seven points from the team's remaining three fixtures would guarantee that the championship returns to L4 this season.

The boss has reiterated the policy among squad and staff - focusing on one game at a time - on a weekly basis as the Reds have increased their winning streak.

"There are still three games to go, and three important games," agrees Mignolet, who was brought to the club from Sunderland by the Northern Irishman last summer.

"The only thing we've been saying throughout the whole season is to take every game as it comes. Even with just three games to go, we'll do the same thing."

And that objective is something that the 26-year-old believes can be supplemented by the relentless backing of the club's fans, who have lined the streets to welcome their heroes for recent matches.

"We try not to think about it too much," said the Belgium international 'keeper. "We have to focus on our job and what happens on the football pitch.

"But obviously, every time you drive into Anfield before the game, with the scenery there and the fans supporting us and pushing us on, it can only help us in games.

"That's what we have to take from it - take it as a positive going into games, make sure we prepare ourselves well and take that as an extra motivation."

Chelsea will journey north to Merseyside this weekend with injury problems afflicting their squad; Petr Cech and John Terry, namely, picked up issues in European action earlier this week.

The top-of-the-table Premier League tie falls between two legs of the Blues' Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.

None of that eases the difficulty of overcoming Jose Mourinho's charges, though, in Mignolet's opinion. "We don't really read too much into that," he commented.

"It's more about us and about what we have to do, rather than looking at someone else. We have to make sure that we're ready for the game, like we've done so far this season. It doesn't make any difference.

"Chelsea have got a very good team, they have got lots of quality players throughout their squad. We'll very much be prepared for a tough game again.

"Like we've done all season, it's about looking at ourselves and making sure we do our things; we'll prepare ourselves well this week and make sure that we play the best that we can. Then there's nothing to worry about."