Brendan Rodgers plans to give Joe Cole a chance in the Capital One Cup

31 October 2012 10:32

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says midfielder Joe Cole will be given the opportunity to impress against Swansea in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.

Cole has endured a frustrating start to the season, making just three appearances for the Reds after suffering a hamstring injury early on. Rodgers says the 30-year-old will be given a chance to fight for a spot in his first-team when Liverpool host the Swans at Anfield in the fourth round of the cup.

The manager told The Telegraph: "Joe will be in the squad. It's been difficult for him. He worked hard throughout pre-season, then he got injured and others have come in and done well, so I'm not going to throw them to the garbage because a senior player is available again.

"But it's an opportunity for Joe. He's worked hard, there are no complaints there, and he's very keen to be a success at Liverpool.

"Joe wants an opportunity to show his qualities and that he has a future here."

Meanwhile, Rodgers has urged stand-in goalkeeper Brad Jones, who has been deputising for the injured Pepe Reina, to continue making the most of his chance to keep the Spaniard out of the side.

"I always judge team selection on its own merit," added Rodgers.

"Pepe, when I arrived here, was the No.1 goalkeeper and his style, temperament and qualities suited the way I want to work. But obviously, while he's been out, Brad Jones has done very well."

He said: "It doesn't necessarily mean that the longer Pepe is out, the tougher it will be for him to get back in, but it is a great opportunity for Brad Jones.

"The guy has hardly played since he's been here and then obviously he got a run out towards the end of last season.

"Pepe is a top goalkeeper, but this gives Brad the chances 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."

Jones will start against Swansea on Wednesday, with Reina still recovering from what Rodgers describes as a "minor strain", having been named on the bench against Everton at the weekend only as a last option.

The boss added: "Pepe is not fit so we will see how he is leading up to the weekend. It was a real minor strain he had when he came back to us late last week, but we had to put him on the bench because young (third-choice keeper) Peter Gulacsi hurt his hand and wasn't fit enough to be on the bench.

"Pepe is still getting treatment now and we will see how it goes over the next 72 hours."

Source: team_talk