Reina is still at the top
Feature by PA
Updated Tuesday, 25th September 2012
Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones has dismissed criticism of team-mate Jose Reina's form and insists he has no worries about the Spain international's play.
The 30-year-old has, by his own high standards, had a poor last 18 months with mistakes last season being followed by errors already in the current campaign. But Jones, who is set to take over in goal as Liverpool begin their defence of the League Cup at West Brom, stressed that did not mean Reina had become a bad keeper.
"You don't get to the top, which is where he has been for the last five or six years, if you are no good - it is simple as that - and you don't stay there," said the Australia international.
"Whether he has made the odd mistake here or there it is easy for people to jump on a goalkeeper and criticise.
"I don't think anyone has any doubt about Pepe. I don't think he has any doubt either."
Critics have pointed to the lack of competition for a regular first-team spot - Reina has made 363 appearances and been a virtual ever-present having signed from Villarreal in the summer of 2005 - for the Spaniard's recent mishaps.
That has been the case for the last couple of years but now Jones has regained the back-up spot having been frozen out by former manager Kenny Dalglish he is confident he can push his team-mate all the way.
And in no way does he take any satisfaction or encouragement from Reina's mistakes.
"You see at some clubs where it doesn't really work and I've seen it a few times over the years where people fall out and goalkeepers don't talk," he said."But there is a mutual respect between the group. We all try to work as hard as we can but at the same time any one of us can play."
He added: "I feel I am in the best place possible to perform to my best - whether or not I can challenge Pepe all I can do it my best."