Pepe Reina insists Saturday’s defeat at West Bromwich Albion should not be used as an indicator for how Liverpool will fare this season as the club prepares to begin a run of three tough Anfield fixtures.
The Reds slipped to a 3-0 loss at the Hawthorns on the opening day of the 2012-13 Barclays Premier League season in a game which saw Daniel Agger sent off in the early stages of the second half.
The Reds have an early opportunity to put their frustrations behind them when they take on Hearts in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League playoffs in Scotland on Thursday before they play host to Manchester City at home next weekend.
Anfield clashes with Arsenal and Manchester United follow, with an away trip to Sunderland sandwiched in between.
Nonetheless, while Reina acknowledges the Reds were left bitterly disappointed with how events unfolded against West Brom, he’s confident it’ll have no bearing on the team’s forthcoming fixtures.
“We don’t have the easiest run of fixtures coming up, but they are what they are,” the Spaniard said. “We have to face them and I’m sure for them it won’t be easy to come to Anfield.
“We have to make ourselves strong at home. This year we have to get better results at home.
“We are getting the ideas from the manager — and we still are — and this is just the beginning. We have to lift ourselves up now and stick together more than ever.
“It’s not normal [to lose]. But I don’t think we will see many games for Liverpool like we did on Saturday. There is nothing to worry about. This is just early days. It was a bad game, and it is as simple as that.”
Liverpool rarely looked troubled prior to Zoltan Gera‘s stunning 43rd minute opener at the Hawthorns.
However, hopes of getting something from the contest were dashed when Agger was sent off before goals from Peter Odemwingie (penalty) and Romelu Lukaku secured the win for West Brom.
“We played alright in the first half,” Reina reflected. “Then they scored a world-class goal and in the second half they got a penalty, which I don’t know if it was a penalty.
“Obviously we tried our best but we didn’t create the chances that we used to, and defensively in the second half we were missing because of the red card.
“I was unhappy at the first penalty because it was never a penalty. It’s as simple as that. There was no contact.
“The second penalty was soft as well. It’s right to say he gets in front of Martin but he barely touched him.
“Saturday’s defeat doesn’t really make us more determined to win against Hearts.
“Every game is important. We’ll try to win every game.”