Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers backs under-performing Pepe Reina
Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers gives Pepe Reina his full backing after the Spain international's indifferent start to the season
Brendan Rodgers has given Pepe Reina his full backing despite the Liverpool goalkeeper’s difficult start to the season.
The 30-year-old Spaniard was guilty of making mistakes against Hearts, Arsenal and Norwich City, leading to criticism for the former Villarreal shot-stopper.
However, Rodgers insisted Reina is simply taking time to adapt to a new style of football under the Northern Irishman and the Reds boss is confident the goalkeeper will cut out the errors.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Pepe. He’s a keeper who has really impressed me,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.
“Pepe has been here for a number of years and has proved himself over a long period of time.
“Like all the other players here he’s trying to improve and become a better player.
“He’s obviously adapting to a new style but this is a way of working which is perfect for Pepe.
“He came through the Barcelona model so he understands this way of playing and what I’m trying to do perfectly.
“As a team, we just need to cut out the kind of mistakes we’ve been making.
“If we do that then everyone will benefit from that, including Pepe.”
Rodgers referred to the goalkeeper’s instinctive save which denied Medhi Benatia in the Reds’ 3-2 defeat by Udinese in the Europa League last week.
“That header looked like a goal and I think everyone inside Anfield probably felt it was probably going to go in,” he added.
“There is obviously a lot of pressure on every player when they play for a top club but it’s at moments like that when you see who the top keepers really are.”