Kenny Dalglish hails Brad Jones’ strength of character
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish heaps praise on Brad Jones for his courage during a difficult few months for the goalkeeper
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has hailed Brad Jones’ strength of character ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final, when the stand-in goalkeeper will face another challenge.
The Australian steps out at Wembley on Saturday lunchtime on the back of six months of personal torment after seeing his six-year-old son, Luca, lose his year-long battle with leukemia last November, while his partner gave birth to another son last week, prior to his first-team return.
Suspensions for both Pepe Reina and Alexander Doni have thrust Jones back into the spotlight, having been displaced as the club’s second-choice stopper following Doni’s arrival last summer.
And Dalglish has paid tribute to the 30-year-old, whose first act upon replacing the dismissed Brazilian was saving a penalty during Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers, for his courage in the face of adversity.
He said: “We’re not sitting here to delve into the players’ personal lives. What’s happened to Brad would have tested most people and he’s come through it a very strong character.
“We can only guess what it must be like to go through what he’s been through – but he has done and I’m sure he enjoyed his first bit of action on Tuesday night at Blackburn by saving the penalty.
“Obviously he’s become a dad again but, as I say, we’re not going to sit and get into players’ personal lives here. We know that to do what he has done, has shown a tremendous amount of strength and character.
“I’m sure he’ll be happy that he got a few minutes under his belt at Blackburn. He’ll be excited, the same as everybody else. As we said before, when you have a squad of players that’s what they’re there for – they’re there to cover all eventualities,” he added.