Pepe Reina praised the “complete” performance of stand-in goalkeeper Brad Jones last weekend — but at the same time assured supporters that he doesn’t expect to spend too long on the sidelines through injury.
The Spanish stopper picked up a minor hamstring injury on international duty last week and, as a precaution, it was decided not to risk him for the 1-0 victory over Reading.
He will be eager to return in time for Sunday’s derby with Everton — but in his absence on Saturday, Jones put in a flawless display, with his three saves including two for the scrapbook.
“I’m getting better, little by little,” Reina said.
“It wasn’t worth taking any risks because you risk it getting worse. I’ll be patient and get really good.
“Brad was excellent. He was composed, he was really good in the air, when he was called on he was fast off his line, and he played well with his feet. He had a complete game.
“He’s a good fighter and a good ‘keeper for Liverpool, not just an understudy. He’s another ‘keeper for the club and he’ll do his best to play as many games as possible.”
Reina watched the contest from the stands, and he admitted it wasn’t an experience he is keen to repeat in a hurry.
“It was very hard,” he said. “I haven’t missed so many [league games] and it was difficult because you’re helpless. It’s frustrating to watch it from the outside, especially refereeing decisions.”
Meanwhile, Reina has welcomed the news that Liverpool’s preferred stadium option is now a redeveloped Anfield.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “It’s good news, and sensible too because the atmosphere at Anfield is difficult to recreate at any other stadium in the world.
“I’m happy for Anfield to stay and be a little bit bigger. The atmosphere won’t lose any magic and it’ll help us even more.”
One fixture of the current Kop of late has been a flag dedicated to the 30-year-old custodian — something which makes the man himself immensely proud.
“It’s always a pleasure to see yourself in a flag,” he said. “For any footballer to have a flag in the Kop means a lot, so I’m really happy and really proud of it.”
Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com