Brad Jones hoping to fend off returning Liverpool number one Jose Reina
Friday 02 November 2012
Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones finds his first-team place under threat from fit-again Jose Reina this weekend, but feels he has made the most of his chance to shine.
The Australia international has played the last four matches - his longest run in the side since arriving in the summer of 2010 - but with Reina now recovered from a hamstring injury, he could be relegated to the bench again for Sunday's visit of Newcastle.
Jones admits he is always looking to improve but, after two clean sheets and some good saves in the Capital One Cup defeat to Swansea in midweek, he wants to keep his place.
"Everyone wants to play," he said.
"I have just tried to do as well as I can and I've been fairly happy with how things have gone.
"You can only really produce on things that happen during the game.
"I haven't had masses to do but I feel that what I have done has been fairly steady. There is always stuff I can do better.
"For me this run of games has been a good opportunity to play and show I can perform if needed in the first team.
"The chance came with Pepe getting injured and whatever the manager chooses from now on is only good because it means all of us are putting pressure on each other.
"It's down to the manager to what he sees fit."
Jones accepts it may be difficult to keep Reina, a Spain international who has made 366 appearances for Liverpool, from reclaiming his place.
But he believes the added competition has improved the depth of goalkeeping strength.
"When I came to Liverpool I knew Pepe had an unbelievable record," Jones added.
"He has played massive games in massive competitions and he's a difficult guy to get out of the way.
"We have a good, friendly rivalry, along with Peter Gulacsi as well.
"Every day in training we are trying to beat each other and stake a claim as much as we can but you only get those chances when you play."
Defender Andre Wisdom is also set for a return to the team having watched Liverpool's League Cup defence end at the hands of Rodgers' former side on Wednesday.
He too has got his chance because of injury to Jose Enrique, which forced Glen Johnson to switch to left-back, and is grateful for the faith the Reds boss has put in him.
"You're always hoping to get opportunities no matter what level," the 19-year-old told Press Association Sport.
"I think last season was a good season with the reserve team. We came second in the league and a lot of the lads did some great performances and enough to say to the manager, 'If needs be, I'd like to be given an opportunity'.
"But the club know when to give you that opportunity and they're very good at doing that."
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