Liverpool’s Pepe Reina eyeing Champions League spot
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has refused to rule out a top four finish – but warned the Reds must invest in their squad if they want to compete at the highest level.
Reina said: “We have to finish this season in a better position than we are at the moment [ninth] and make sure we build for the next years and try to be competitive. If not, it’s going to be difficult for them to keep these kind of players.
“We are not probably as strong as Man City, Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea and Tottenham can be so that’s why we have to make sure we build a better squad.
“At the moment, it’s almost impossible to compete for nine months against Chelsea, for example, and that is what I want. The clubs all around England are building proper squads. We have to do the same and we have to be able to compete.”
Speaking about Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the Champions League places, Reina added: “[It is] possible; why not? But we have to be sure that we deliver better performances otherwise it’s going to be really, really, really difficult.”
The shot-stopper also called on supporters to back under-fire boss Roy Hodgson, whose poor start to his time at Anfield has failed to inspire confidence amongst Liverpool’s fans.
“Rafa [BenÃƒÂtez] was really beloved in Liverpool,” Reina said. “But I think it’s about time that the fans get behind Roy and support Roy 100 per cent. I don’t think it is heavy criticism out there anyway.”
Meanwhile, Hodgson has defended his side’s away form ahead of their clash with Spurs at White Hart Lane, stating Liverpool’s poor string of results on their travels is not down to the players’ mentality.
“The away form has been bad for a long time,” said the Reds boss. “We’ve had one good victory and a couple of reasonable draws but I’m afraid in this league away victories are hard to come by. I don’t think mentality comes into it.” Hodgson stated.
“We’ve not been a lucky team so far, whatever we’ve got we’ve had to battle for. Against Stoke we had done well against them until they scored the goal.
“Then we took the game to them and conceded a second and everyone thinks the team played badly and were battered.
“I believe if we continue to play the way we did against West Ham we may get one or two but it is the level of performance which counts.
“Results determine everything and people look at the results and then judge the performance.
Hodgson added: “I have to judge the performance sometimes when we win and say ‘That was not very good and we could do better’ and sometimes when we lose I have to look at it and say it was a bad result but not as bad as all that.”