Jose Reina insists relationship with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is 'very good'

There has been speculation all season surrounding the Spain international's future

Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina insists he is happy with the methods of manager Brendan Rodgers and the pair have a good relationship.

There has been speculation all season surrounding the Spain international's future at Anfield with Arsenal and Barcelona continually linked with the 30-year-old.

Rodgers has maintained throughout Reina is his first choice, even launching a staunch defence of the Spaniard when he was out injured for a month in October and questions about his form were raised.

The goalkeeper, now in his eighth season with the Reds, has in the last couple of years fallen short of the high standards he sets himself but stressed that was not due to the change in style Rodgers has introduced since replacing Kenny Dalglish last summer.

"I have a great relationship with him," said Reina.

"We have a lot of ideas in common and the way we see football is quite similar.

"Our understanding about tactics and feeling for football is very similar. I'm very happy with our manager.

"It's about learning and he's certainly making sure we learn every day in training about ways to win.

"That's important because at the end of the day, what you want to do is win.

"If you play good football, you'll definitely be closer to winning more games.

"That's where we are and my relationship with the manager is very good.

"If the players follow the philosophy we'll definitely become a great side - a difficult and strong side to beat and a competitive one."

Reina's distribution has been one of his stand-out qualities but he has had to adapt his methods slightly to fit in with Rodgers' possession-heavy football.

"There is no doubt that I am more involved with my feet than before, but so is the whole team," he told LFC TV.

"The amount of passes in every game is higher and higher compared to last season. It's a different style and I am happy with it."

That style has brought mixed results this season with the side struggling to find the necessary consistency.

The Reds are currently eighth in the table, 10 point adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and a late charge for Champions League qualification looks highly improbable.

However, midfielder Jordan Henderson believes the positives from their last two games - even if one victory still resulted in their elimination from Europe on away goals - means they will not give up on the top four.

"We can take a lot out of the last two games," he told liverpoolfc.com.

"They were good performances and good results. Unfortunately we didn't end up qualifying for the next round of the Europa League but we gave it our best shot.

"We've got 11 games left and want to succeed in those games. We've done well of late - I think we've been playing some good stuff - we're still improving.

"[To qualify for the Champions League] would be a massive achievement.

"We'll give it our best shot. We know it will be difficult but we still believe we can do it.

"The coming games will be a good chance for us to showcase what we want to achieve."

Away from the first team the Football Association have confirmed to Press Association Sport it is to look into a number of incidents which occurred at last night's Premier League Under-21 match between Liverpool and Manchester United.

Late in the second half of the Reds' 1-0 defeat a fan ran onto the pitch at St Helens' Langtree Park stadium and appeared to direct abuse at Liverpool striker Adam Morgan before tussling with stewards as he was led away.

There were also two instances of smoke canisters being set off in the stands, with one being thrown onto the pitch, and the FA will write to the two clubs involved as part of its investigation.

There were also reports of distasteful chants being made by a section of the visiting support but Merseyside Police said no complaints had been made to them and there was no record of any incidents in which they were involved.

Fans of the two north-west clubs have a well-documented rivalry at first-team level but this is not the first time a youth team match has been affected.

Almost two years ago at an FA Youth Cup game at Anfield a minority of away supporters sang songs about the Hillsborough and Heysel disasters, a flare was let off, there were three arrests for drunkenness and six United fans were ejected from the ground.

PA

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