Brad Jones relishing challenge of trying to show he can be Liverpools number one
Brad Jones hopes to earn selection for Liverpool's game with Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League this week – and then stake a claim for Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
With first choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina recovering from a hamstring injury, Jones is expected to earn a second consecutive start for the Reds in Thursday night’s tie with the Russian outfit at Anfield. Reina will be eager to return as quick as possible and may be targeting his comeback in time for the game at Goodison on Sunday afternoon.
Jones knows the decision will be out of his hands but if selected for Thursday night’s match with Anzhi, he aims to use it as a chance to further impress manager Brendan Rodgers. Jones says he has welcomed the challenge of fighting for a place in the first team at Liverpool and believes the club have helped him to become a better goalkeeper. With Pepe Reina hampered by a hamstring injury, the Australian goalkeeper is in line to start consecutive games for the first time in his Reds’ career on Thursday night when Anzhi Makhachkala visit in the Europa League.
Jones helped Liverpool keep a clean sheet against Reading on Saturday, as manager Brendan Rodgers secured his maiden Premier League win at home. The game also marked Jones’ first league appearance of the season with his previous three matches coming in Europe and the League Cup. But with it unclear when Reina will be fit to return, Jones will aim to use this week’s tie with Anzhi to try and stake a claim for Sunday’s derby with Everton at Goodison Park. Jones faced Everton last season in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley with Reina and Alexander Doni both suspended and says he would be thrilled to meet the Blues once again – but is refusing to look beyond the next game.
“I’ve improved a lot as a goalkeeper from being here,” said Jones, a former Middlesbrough keeper.
“All the keepers work really hard every day in training as a group.
“You have to fight to get games under your belt and I’m someone who likes a challenge.
“That’s the reason I came here. To set the bar high and see how far I can get in the game.
“Since the manager has come in, there have been changes. From the day he came in it’s been a fight to prove to him I’m worthy of being here. I’m hoping that I’m winning that battle. If I can get more games then all the better.”
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