Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet insists last season’s Wembley heartache has no bearing on this weekend’s Capital One Cup final.
The Reds went into their FA Cup semi-final against an Aston Villa side struggling against relegation as strong favourites last April, but despite taking an early first-half lead at the national stadium they crashed out.
They have gone one better this season in reaching the final of the Capital One Cup, but Mignolet said a Wembley return holds neither regret nor extra motivation.
“Every competition you go out of it is a disappointing feeling like it was against Aston Villa last year but it doesn’t make any difference,” he said.
“For example, we got out of the FA Cup against West Ham in the final stages of the game (a fourth-round replay) but it doesn’t make any difference where you go out.
“You want to go to the final and win it.
“You have to look at every game. The game we play against Manchester City will not be the same as the game against Aston Villa so we focus on that coming game rather than what happened in the past.
“We know it is going to be a big day out at Wembley but we have to see it as a professional football match as we do every week.
“Every time you go to Wembley it is a huge occasion but you can’t get flustered, you have to see it as a football match and hopefully that will be enough.”
Winning a trophy will, however, make a difference as Liverpool’s only piece of silverware in the last decade came in this competition four years ago via a penalty shoot-out win over Cardiff.
It would get Jurgen Klopp’s reign off to a perfect start and would also be a significant hurdle for the players to overcome.
“We had the chance last year of playing two semi-finals in the League Cup and FA Cup,” he said.
“Going to Wembley for the second time – obviously for a final this year – would make the boys even more hungry for trophies in the future.
“The first year I was here we battled to win the Premier League right up until the final day and last year we had two semi-finals so this is another step in the right direction playing a final and we’d like to try to win.
“But we have to look no further than Sunday and put in a performance which can win us the game.”
Klopp’s influence is seen as a major factor – having already masterminded a 4-1 Premier League win over City at the Etihad Stadium in November – but Mignolet accepts it is the players who have to get the team over the line.
“Our manager has the experience of playing finals both domestically and in Europe so he knows what it is to be there but in the end it is down to the players who have to do the job on the pitch,” he added.
“We have shown we can win against Manchester City and learned a lot of things in that but I am sure City did the same: it is a final which is always something different and every game is completely different.
“On Sunday we won’t think what happened in the previous game.”