• Premier League

Reina set for Merseyside derby return

ESPN staff
October 23, 2012 « Hillsborough disaster police watchdog doubted | Chartbeat test »

Pepe Reina is on course to be fit for Liverpool's Merseyside derby with Everton this weekend, revealing he missed the Reading game as a precaution.

Reina suffered a minor hamstring injury while on international duty with Spain, forcing him to take on the role of frustrated spectator as Raheem Sterling's strike earned Liverpool a 1-0 win over Reading.

In his absence, Reina saw Brad Jones turn in a match-winning display for the Reds, making a couple of crucial saves to protect a clean sheet. The Spaniard was full of praise for his understudy, but is "eager to return" against Everton, according to the club's official website.

"I'm getting better, little by little," Reina said. "It wasn't worth taking any risks because you risk it getting worse. I'll be patient and get really good.

"Brad was excellent. He was composed, he was really good in the air, when he was called on he was fast off his line, and he played well with his feet. He had a complete game.

"He's a good fighter and a good keeper for Liverpool, not just an understudy. He's another keeper for the club and he'll do his best to play as many games as possible."

Reina, who is often linked with a move away from Anfield, also indicated his ongoing desire to stay at the club, speaking positively of the news to redevelop the ground, rather than build a new one elsewhere.

"I think it's great," he said. "It's good news and sensible too because the atmosphere at Anfield is difficult to recreate at any other stadium in the world. I'm happy for Anfield to stay and be a little bit bigger. The atmosphere won't lose any magic and it'll help us even more."

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