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WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 12 hours ago
Read
Feb 26, 2012

Reina: Reds back after 'dark' days

Pepe Reina admits there is a renewed belief at Liverpool and is hoping his decision to stay at Anfield proves fruitful as the Reds look to win on their first visit to Wembley since 1996.

• Derailment causes transport chaos
• Preview: Liverpool v Cardiff
• Gerrard seeks redemption
• Dalglish: We deserve this chance
• Interview with Legg and Rush
• Rewind to 1927
• Bellamy fit for final
• Gerrard: Six years too long

Liverpool face Championship side Cardiff in the Carling Cup final at Wembley on Sunday as they bid to win their first silverware since 2006.

But Reina nearly missed out on his first trip to Wembley after the Spaniard revealed he seriously considered leaving the club during the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, in what Reina described as "dark moments" in Liverpool's history.

When Reina joined the club in 2005, Liverpool had recently won the Champions League, but the Reds have now not won any silverware in six years. But despite the Reds' recent trophy drought, Reina believes Liverpool are back on track.

"There was a point when I thought that my only option was to move to another club," Reina said. "It was only when there was a change of ownership at Liverpool that I decided to stay.

"It was by far the biggest factor in my decision. When I joined Liverpool in 2005 we were European champions. The following year we won the FA Cup and the next we reached the Champions League final. But after 2007 nothing.

"We all know why the club went backwards after that final in Athens. It was a dark moment in Liverpool's history. And I'm not just talking about the last decade, but the whole history of the club.

"Having those owners was one of the worst moments for Liverpool. I probably wouldn't be here if the change of ownership hadn't happened - but that doesn't matter now because we are looking forward to going to Wembley."

Reina insists the arrival of Kenny Dalglish could not see Liverpool's fortunes turn around overnight, but he believes the Reds are heading in the right direction.

"Bringing Kenny back was a great move," he said."We all know what Kenny Dalglish means to Liverpool. He is like the badge on the shirt.

"He has been the greatest player of all time for our club and with him as the manager people seem to believe even more in the project. That's also why people will have a little more patience because they will believe that Kenny can deliver titles like when he was a player and then manager first time around.

"To be honest, this time last year, reaching a Wembley final looked a long way off for us. The players always hoped we would challenge again and that we'd get back on track, but we also knew that it would take time.

"We needed better players so that we could become competitive again - and the owners thought so too because they spent good money on the squad in the summer. As a result, we have made some improvement. We are going the right way again. We want to be fighting for titles, fighting to reach Wembley.

"Steps have been taken to get the club back to where it belongs - and that is basically why I am still here. I think the same goes for a lot of my team-mates. We believe in this project again and hopefully we will deliver some trophies."

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