Pepe Reina focuses on Liverpool FC victory

06 February 2010 07:00
Beating Blues is our number one focus

BIG game, huge expectations, sensible outlook; Pepe Reina might be excited about the 213th Merseyside derby but he won't allow himself to get distracted by hype.

It is inevitable, whenever Liverpool and Everton clash, that this fixture gets trumpeted up far in excess of any other, a meeting that inevitably has words such as 'massive' and 'vital' regularly attached to it.

Yet looking at it one way, this latest clash between Red and Blue is one of the least important in years; one side is fifth, the other is 10th, the outcome will not determine the destination of a piece of silverware nor will it dominate the national agenda.

Compared to the halcyon days of the 1980s, when both tribes would be going hammer and tongs for the title, this afternoon's lunchtime showdown - to a certain generation at least - does not deserve to be mentioned in the same bracket.

The reality, though, is that there is an enormous amount at stake for both teams; for instance, Everton's hopes of pushing for a place in the top six - which at one stage seemed most unlikely - rest on them getting a first victory at Anfield since 1999.

Liverpool, meanwhile, simply cannot afford to squander any more points if they are to salvage their campaign by finishing in the top four and you have to wonder what effect defeat would have on them psychologically.

There are, then, many fascinating subplots but Reina has no intention of examining any of them in any detail; others might be working out the ramifications of every possible result but the Spaniard is not among them.

'Are we through the worst of the season? You never know,' said Reina. 'It depends on results. We can talk about improving, being defensively better but, at the end of the day, you have to win. It doesn't matter how you play or if you are defending well.'

Source: Liverpool_Echo

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