Manchester United’s fall from grace shows how success in the Premier League cannot be taken for granted, according to Simon Mignolet.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Mignolet, now at Club Brugge, comes face-to-face with fallen 20-time champions United again in the Europa League next week.
And Mignolet feels United’s current plight shows how quickly fortunes can change in the Premier League, which he regards as the toughest league in the world.
“It shows that being at the top of the Premier League is a very hard business,” said Mignolet. “First of all to get there, and secondly to stay there.
“You can’t take that for granted, because it’s not easy. It’s the most competitive league in the world, and the challenges from all angles are huge.”
Mignolet knows United are favourites, but said his side – who hold a nine-point lead at the top of the Belgian league – showed in the Champions League they are not overawed by big-name opponents.
“We drew at Real Madrid , we should have won away to Paris Saint-Germain, where we missed a penalty, and drew away to Galatasaray to go into the Europa League,” said Mignolet.
“We have players who can hurt any team, a good strong unit with a winning mentality, but we’re also a young team with not much experience at the highest level.
“Let’s hope we have a good home game that gives us a chance of creating an upset, because United come to us first, and if we concede an away goal, things might be a lot more difficult.”
Mignolet is also aware of the focus that will be on him as a former Liverpool keeper coming up against old foes United.
“Of course, there will be a lot said before and after the game,” added Mignolet. “For me, going back to England, there will be a lot of talk about my history as a Liverpool player.
“But I just have to do my job. It’s not me that’s going to kick United out of the Europa League, I can only try to stop them from scoring.
“Hopefully someone else will be the hero for us, because that will mean we’ve scored a goal, rather than having to defend the whole game.”