Aston Villa v Liverpool preview: Brad Jones admits playing second fiddle to Jose Reina damages his international prospects


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The Independent Football

Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones accepts his international chances may have been hampered by remaining at the club.

However, the Australian admits he would rather stay at Anfield and provide competition for first-choice Jose Reina than leave and play more matches elsewhere.

The Reds' Melwood training ground has been a quiet place for the last week with many of the squad away at World Cup qualifiers.

But Jones was one of those left behind as his last appearance for the Socceroos came in January 2011, although he was called into the squad in September last year as a replacement for injured Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici.

The 31-year-old knows his role as Reina's deputy is counting against him, although injury to the Spaniard has seen Jones make 15 appearances this season - more than in his previous two seasons combined - and start the last two Barclays Premier League matches.

“I have kind of been in and out (of the international team) recently but there is not a lot I can do really, it is up to the manager to pick me,” Jones, who signed a new contract at Anfield in December, told Press Association Sport.

“The manager (Holger Osieck) wants people who are playing fairly regularly, which is obviously going to be difficult for me here.

“I have probably played more games than I thought I might have this year but just the way it has worked out it is going to be difficult.

“But on the other side for me it is a tough one because I would probably rather play 15 games for Liverpool than 30 for someone else.

“It is Catch 22 but I think if I am playing for Liverpool and performing then I should be in contention.”

The goalkeeper could lose his place in the starting line-up for Sunday's trip to Aston Villa as Reina has been declared fit after joining up with Spain for their World Cup qualifiers, although he was on the bench for both matches.

Liverpool are looking to get back on track after a surprise 3-1 defeat at Southampton last time out but Jones said in spite of that the mood was still positive.

“I think people have seen this season the change in the way the club is, the change in the way the team is playing,” said the Australian, speaking at an event in support of UK blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, who are trying to recruit more donors for their register.

“For us we can see it has moved forward, the fans can see it has moved forward.

“It took us a bit of time at the start of the season to get going but in general recently everyone has been able to see performances have got a lot better.

“As long as that continues the team will progress.

“I am sure the manager will look at bringing in a few more players but they will be ones he feels can benefit the team.

“The club is on a forward progression and I think the owners (Fenway Sports Group) have really steadied the ship and the club appears to be in a lot better position than it was a few years ago.”