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'Brad is a true red'

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is confident third-choice goalkeeper Brad Jones has the character to come through his biggest test since arriving at Anfield.

The Australian international is set to face Everton in today's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in what will be only his fourth appearance for the club and his first start in 16 months.

Since arriving from Middlesbrough in the summer of 2010 as former manager Roy Hodgson's signing, Jones has suffered a personal tragedy with the death of his five-year-old son Luca from leukaemia in November last year.

That made the fact he has not been selected since Dalglish took over in January 2011 pale into insignificance.

But with Jose Reina and Alexander Doni both suspended, the 30-year-old is now set for his biggest match at club level, having been on the bench for Middlesbrough's 2004 League Cup win and UEFA Cup final defeat to Sevilla two years later.

Dalglish insists he has no doubts over the goalkeeper's temperament.

"We're not here to delve into the players' personal lives, but what's happened to Brad would have tested most people," Dalglish said.

"You can only guess what it must be like to go through what he's been through, but he has done. He's come through it a really strong character.

"We know that to do what he's done has shown a tremendous amount of strength of character."

Jones, whose partner gave birth to another son, Nico, last week, would still have been in the wilderness at Liverpool had Reina's suspension not brought him a recall.

Dalglish's hand was forced further when Doni was sent off in Tuesday's 3-2 win at Blackburn, with Jones' first touch on his Liverpool Premier League debut being to save Ayegbeni Yakubu's penalty.

The club have recalled Hungarian Peter Gulacsi from his loan spell at Championship side Hull to provide cover for today's game, after which Reina will be available again.


"He (Jones) will be happy he got a few minutes under his belt at Blackburn and I'm sure he enjoyed his first bit of action saving a penalty," Dalglish added.

"He'll be excited, as everyone else is, about playing. It's credit to Doni that he kept himself fit and active and sharp, and Brad's the same."

Liverpool lifted the Carling Cup at Wembley less than two months ago, their first trophy for six years, but Dalglish does not believe that will have much bearing on the match with Everton, who are in the middle of a strong run of form.

"The Carling Cup victory was a fantastic day for everyone connected with the club but you get your rewards for what happened on the day and you cannot live in the past," the Scot said.

"We didn't, we haven't and we won't and we will look forward.

"Beating Cardiff on penalties got us a trophy and that was a very rewarding circumstance, but the Carling Cup win doesn't help or hinder anything we are looking forward to.

"We've never got ahead of ourselves at any stage and we won't now.

"Just winning the game will be important for us.

"The most important thing for us is to prepare ourselves properly, and make sure that we are right and ready for it mentally, physically and tactically."