Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones unfazed by Samuel Eto'o challenge

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones answers questions during a press conference ahead of their UEFA Europa League group match against FC Anzhi Makhachkala at Melwood Training Ground on October 24, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones feels training every day with the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard has given him plenty of preparation for facing Samuel Eto'o.

As he did in last Saturday's Barclays Premier League win over Reading, Jones is again set to deputise for the injured Jose Reina tonight when the Reds host Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League.

The nouveaux riche Russian side - the current Group A leaders - have several notable names among their ranks, including former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Eto'o.

Jones is fully aware of the Cameroon international's threat, but that does not mean the Australian stopper, who has only made a handful of first-team appearances for Liverpool, is in any way intimidated - particularly given the calibre of players he is used to trying to keep at bay in training.

"For me, playing against whoever, it doesn't particularly bother me which player it is - it is the same idea when you go out, which is that you don't want to concede goals," Jones said.

"Obviously Eto'o is a fantastic player and has been for a number of years, playing at the top.

"You know you are going to have to be on top of your game, but I have to do that every day with the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard anyway.

"It is just about making sure you concentrate and do the right things."

Liverpool are unsure whether or not Reina, who picked up a hamstring problem on international duty with Spain, will recover in time to play in Sunday's league clash with local rivals Everton at Goodison Park.

Asked yesterday how long Reina was likely to be out of action for, Reds assistant boss Colin Pascoe said: "We are not quite sure at the moment.

"Hopefully not too long. He is doing his rehab at the moment and is working hard in training.

"So we will just have to assess him over the weekend and we will see then."

Pascoe insists Liverpool's players are fully focused on the Anzhi contest and will not be distracted by thoughts of the Merseyside derby.

He said: "With the next game, it is always the same.

"The boys are looking forward to Anzhi.

"Everton against Liverpool is a massive game, but it hasn't been talked about and isn't being thought about at the moment.

"We are thinking just purely about the (Anzhi) game."

Liverpool are third in Group A on three points after two rounds of fixtures, one point behind Anzhi and second-placed Udinese.

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