SIMON MIGNOLET insists he never had any issues with Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland before joining Liverpool during the summer.
Sunderland face their first Premier League outing since Di Canio’s dismissal when the Merseysiders visit the Stadium of Light tomorrow, looking to keep the Black Cats confined to the top flight’s basement.
The nature of Di Canio’s authoritarian reign has been described in detail following his sacking last Sunday, with the Italian banning coffee, music, mobile phones and ketchup from the Academy of Light.
Ultimately, the head coach’s discipline - and more specifically his public criticism of Sunderland’s players - prompted the dressing room rebellion which led to his sacking.
But Mignolet, who played seven games under Di Canio last season prior to joining Liverpool in an £11million move, says he had more interaction with goalkeeping coach Domenico Doardo than the deposed Black Cats boss.
“Being a goalkeeper I spent 95 per cent of the time with the goalkeeping coach,” said Mignolet.
“And when it came to matchday I had quite a good relationship with him (Di Canio).
“In fact up until now I’ve had quite a good relationship with every manager I’ve played under. Touch wood, we can keep it that way.
“I drink quite a lot of coffee, but when I was there it wasn’t an issue. I got on with my job like I always do.”
Mignolet admits he is saddened by the plight of his former club, with Sunderland taking just a solitary point from the opening five games.
And after spending three years on Wearside, the Belgian hopes Sunderland can get themselves out of trouble - following this weekend’s encounter.
“It’s the first time I’ve been back and I’m really looking forward to going back to the Stadium,” said last season’s Player of the Year.
“There are a lot of people who I still know from my time there so I am looking forward to seeing them again and have a catch up.
“But the main thing is about getting the result we want and we have to make sure we get the three points.
“I keep in touch with some of the players, but also the staff and the people around there. I was there three years so I know a lot of people and I never like to see them struggling.
“They were unlucky at the start of the season so hopefully they can turn it around – but only after Sunday.”
Meanwhile, Mignolet says the return of striker Luis Suarez is a major boost for Liverpool.
Suarez made his comeback from a 10-game ban in Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup third round tie at Manchester United and is expected to make his Premier League return at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.
The controversial Uruguayan has netted four times in four games against Sunderland and Liverpool stopper Mignolet is glad to see him back after two successive defeats for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Mignolet added: “Seeing him come back into the squad is a big boost for us.
“Everyone knows the quality he has and it is what we need for Liverpool. Not only on matchdays but every single day in training.
“I see it every single day in training when I’m one v one with him and you see what he can do, so he will improve me as a goalkeeper as well.
“We know there’s a lot more to come from him and I’m sure he will score goals and win games for Liverpool again.”