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Thursday, October 11, 2012
Reina receives Rodgers backing

ESPN staff

Brendan Rodgers is confident Pepe Reina can adapt his game to become a key figure in his new-look Liverpool side.

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Reina, 30, has been singled out for criticism following errors against Hearts, Arsenal and Norwich already this season but Rodgers is unconcerned and has been impressed with the Spaniard's willingness to adapt his style.

"I can't speak highly enough of Pepe. He's a keeper who has really impressed me,'' he said. "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."

Reina has shown flashes of brilliance this season too, a save to deny Udinese's Medhi Benatia in the Europa League particularly catching Rodgers' eye. And that glimpse of his talent has left Rodgers convinced he has the right man between the sticks.

"That header looked like a goal and I think everyone inside Anfield probably felt it was probably going to go in," he told the Liverpool Echo. "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."

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