Sport Soccer

Saturday 21 October 2017

Rodgers calls on Jones to stake his claim for No 1 jersey

Mark Ogden

Brendan Rodgers has challenged Brad Jones to give him a "big decision to make" by urging the Australian to take his chance to increase the pressure on Liverpool's current first-choice 'keeper Pepe Reina.

With Reina battling to overcome what manager Rodgers has described as a "minor strain", Jones will make his fourth consecutive appearance for Liverpool tonight when they face Swansea City in a Capital One Cup fourth-round tie at Anfield.

Although the 30-year-old was at fault for Everton's first goal in Sunday's 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, the former Middlesbrough goalkeeper has impressed Rodgers during his run as Reina's replacement in recent weeks.

opportunity

And while Spain international Reina is expected to return to action against Newcastle on Sunday, Rodgers insists that Jones now has the opportunity to extend Reina's spell out of the team.

"Pepe, when I arrived here, was the No 1 goalkeeper and his style, temperament and qualities suited the way I want to work," Rodgers said.

"But obviously, while he's been out, Brad Jones has done very well. Pepe is a top goalkeeper, but this gives Brad the chance he's always been waiting for to get a run of games and prove he can play. Hopefully it will give me a big decision to make."

Rodgers, who left Swansea for the Liverpool job in the summer, faces his former club for the first time when Michael Laudrup's team visit Anfield tonight.

Rodgers admits he will use the game to hand opportunities to fringe players, including former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole, who has made just three appearances this season.

"Joe will be in the squad." Rodgers said. "He loves his training, loves playing games and wants an opportunity to show his qualities." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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