Wednesday 21 March 2018

Reina believes focus the key to Liverpool's season revival

Pepe Reina. Photo: Getty Images
Pepe Reina. Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Holland

Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina insists concentrating on football, and producing performances for the full 90 minutes instead of 45, will get Liverpool where they want to be.

The Spain international, who has been one of the more outspoken members of the dressing-room in calling for significant investment in the squad, believes the players now have to take care of matters on the pitch and allow the board to make improvements off it.

A fourth successive Premier League victory at Anfield was achieved with against Aston Villa on Monday night, lifting the club up to eighth and seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.

As they had done in their last home game, against West Ham, Liverpool produced most of their best play in the first half with goals from David Ngog and Ryan Babel.

The previous weekend they dominated before the interval at Tottenham only to lose in injury-time.

Reina, who became the fastest Liverpool goalkeeper to reach 100 league clean sheets against Villa, believes consistency in both halves will enable the Reds to move further up the table. He said all talk of investment and new arrivals must be put to one side.


"I am always talking about these things and I don't want to be annoying, saying the same things," he said. "We all expect Liverpool to be one of the top clubs and it is on the manager and the new owners to level up that but all we can do is play football and do as well as we can.

"We know anyone can beat anyone and it has happened so many times this season so we have to be consistent and find that balance which makes us stay up there and fight to be as high as possible.

"We are 10 points adrift of the leaders (Arsenal) but it is just some space. Knowing the ideas and keeping the shape and philosophy we have to find ourselves playing with more confidence now and aim a bit higher.

"We are happy just because we have shown, especially in the first halves, better performances and the team has been more consistent and more focused from the first minute.

"That is something which the team lacked in the first 10 matches and, now we have found ourselves better, we have to keep that from the first minute."

Reina, who has captained the side in the last two games but is likely to relinquish the armband to a returning Steven Gerrard at managerless Newcastle on Saturday, thinks the coming month could be pivotal in their season.

The fixture list certainly does not look that daunting, with home games against Fulham, Wolves and Bolton and trips to Blackpool and Blackburn before near-neighbours Everton arrive on January 16.

Irish Independent

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