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Oct 1, 2012

Reina: Rodgers not under pressure

Pepe Reina insists Brendan Rodgers is under no pressure at Liverpool, claiming the Reds should now go on a run of victories under their new manager.

Reina, like many of his team-mates, has endured a tough start to the campaign, making mistakes against Manchester City, Arsenal and Hearts to spark doubts over his future. He even committed a howler at Norwich on Saturday, although on that occasion Liverpool ran out 5-2 winners.

That victory lifted the Reds out of the bottom three but Reina insists Rodgers' job was not in jeopardy, regardless of the weekend result. Instead, he expects only good things as the squad adapts to the manager's style of play.

"We have to make sure we keep a run going and add more wins now," Reina told Sky Sports News.

"I don't think Brendan was under the spotlight. Times have changed, we've got a young team, another way of playing and things are going well.

"The results weren't, but now we have our first win and there should be many in a row." Meanwhile, Everton legend Neville Southall claims Reina's poor form has been a direct result of Rodgers' more patient approach. The Liverpool boss asks his players to retain possession of the ball, which hinders Reina's attacking instincts, according to Southall.

"Reina's never negative - he's always positive. At Swansea they didn't try and look forward first, they looked back, whereas in the past he had [Fernando] Torres and [Luis] Suarez who he could hit it [to] straight away early," Southall told Click Liverpool.

"Now they've gone, 'We don't need to do that, we'll play from the back'. So he's stifled him a little bit. I think that's why he's had a little bit of a problem because they've gone, 'You're really good at this, but we don't want you to do that'.

"I think that's really hard with being so positive and wanting to go forward all the time and start things, they're now saying, 'Throw it to the wide men'.

"It's just the way they play but I think it's really, really stifling him at the moment. But every time he makes a mistake he just gets his head down and carries on doing what he does and I think he's a terrific player.

"If you look at a goalie who made a couple of mistakes, he's made them in some of the biggest games and he still gets on with it. That's what I like about him, his mental attitude. He's going to make mistakes and probably at the moment there's a lot more consistent players. But in terms of being positive in his distribution, you can see his brain's working as soon as he gets the ball.

"At the moment, he's having to play it out from the back so he throws it wide, to the fullbacks. He doesn't want to do that really, he wants to go forward. I think it's quite difficult. He's now having to adjust and the players are now having to adjust."

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