Reina calls for Liverpool patience

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The Independent Football

Jose Reina has called for patience over Liverpool's prospects of challenging for honours this season.

And the Reds keeper believes matters may not alter until the club's ownership situation is resolved.

Roy Hodgson's side failed to impress in their goalless draw at Birmingham yesterday when only a fine display by Reina denied the home side victory.

They are already seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea after just four matches and face an uphill battle to reclaim a Champions League spot.

Reina said: "We have to make sure that people don't think of winning the league or being in the top four already at this moment.

"It is going to take a while. We have got to get used to the new players and then the system.

"There are many good teams and our target is to be up there but we have to be realistic.

"Is a Champions League spot realistic this season? I don't know. We will find out at the end of the season what we can achieve.

"Of course, we have to challenge for being up there. Maybe it will take a while."

Reina added: "No-one has patience nowadays. We are just asking for a little bit.

"We did not spend much money and in football to compete with the others sometimes it is important to do it.

"We couldn't. We sold some players and we used the money for buying some others.

"It's going to be like this for a little while until we sort out the (owners) situation.

"All we believe is that we have to win the next game and game and after game and don't think about the end of the season.

"We just have to concentrate on the next game and take it from there.

"April and May is the time to talk about targets."

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish believes midfielder Craig Gardner and striker James McFadden are benefiting from playing regular first team football.

He said: "You are now seeing the development of Gardner because he has not played regularly in the Premier League in all his time at Aston Villa before he came here.

"It can be tough on a player physical-wise.

"James McFadden also played his first full season in England last season.

"In the previous seasons, he was injured when he came here when we were in the Premier League and then in the Championship.

"With Everton over three or four years, he never played a full season. These guys will benefit from being involved."

McLeish also defended McFadden after he came in for criticism during Scotland's Euro 2012 qualifier with Liechtenstein.

He said: "McFadden answered a few critics with the performance he gave against Liverpool.

"Not only that, he did a shift to try and augment the midfield, getting back in there working.

"McFadden got a bit of criticism in Scotland but he is allowed to have a bad game now and then.

"He has been a talisman for Scotland for so long and it didn't go well for him the other night.

"But to suggest he is not a worker, he is lazy, is nonsense.

"His ProZone figures are way up there. He is one of the best trainers at the club, if not the best."