Belfast Telegraph

Jones ready for Reds pressure

Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones insists he is ready for the scrutiny which will now inevitably come his way after taking over from the under-fire Simon Mignolet.

The Australian was thrust into the spotlight at Old Trafford just over a week ago after manager Brendan Rodgers dropped Mignolet indefinitely when a number of indifferent performances took its toll.

Jones has been the Reds' back-up keeper ever since he signed for them in August 2010 and although he has featured in various cup matches he had made only eight Premier League appearances in that time before this season.

He is now the one in the sights of the critics but the 32-year-old is unconcerned.

"I have had it before and I'll get it again," Jones said.

"There is pressure on every player in every position. You are expected to win every week and when you don't you get criticised.

"At smaller clubs you get away with certain things. The magnifying glass isn't as big, if you like.

"But if you are here you have obviously done something right to be here in the first place, and when you are here you have to deal with it as best you can.

"Every game is an opportunity. I'll just play each game and hope that I do well enough to play the next one.

"I have tried to play as the manager wants me to do. I have just got to go on that.

"In football, and with goalkeepers, circumstances dictate how much you do and when you do it.

"Sometimes you might not have a chance to do anything. I just try and play as best as I can in every aspect."

Jones insists the relationship between him and Mignolet has not changed, but he feels some of the criticism of the Belgian international was unwarranted.

"That is what TV pundits do, isn't it? They pick holes in people. They pick holes in teams and point out things," he said.

"A lot of the time it can be unjustified. Sometimes it is justified.

"Football is all about different situations: 'You could have done this... You could have done that...'

"Certain people like to justify their position by jumping on the bandwagon and saying something that gets in the press. It is up to them. That is their job.

"We (he and Mignolet) have a very good relationship. We are old enough to know there is nothing petty between players.

"It is the manager's decision. We just crack on in training and work as hard as we can. We want to improve each other.

"Whoever is playing, we want results and we want to get the team up the table and as soon as we start moving up the table, everyone is happy."

Burnley are next for Liverpool, on Boxing Day, with Jones due to start at Turf Moor.

In recent weeks former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and more recently Chelsea's out-of-favour Petr Cech have been linked with a move to Liverpool.

Jones is out of contract in the summer but insists neither speculation about rivals nor his unexpected chance will change his approach.

"I signed my first contract (to try and win another one) and I have been playing that way since," Jones said.

"Everyone wants to link other players with us and that is probably not going to change.

"We will get linked with another 20 goalkeepers now but I won't let it affect me.

"Every game that I play, I will just go out and do my best. Do I want to stay? Of course I do.

"It is just up to me to go out and do my best and hold on to it for as long as I can.

"If it is a couple of weeks, a couple of months, we will see. I just have to make the most of it when I can."

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