Reina and Liverpool close in on record
Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina hopes to edge closer to the club record for clean sheets in a season when he steps out at Anfield tomorrow for the 203rd Merseyside derby.
The 7-0 thrashing of Birmingham in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday was the club's 30th clean sheet of the season and the first time such a total has been achieved in 22 years.
Three times in the past Liverpool have amassed their record 34 clean sheets in a season, the last being 1983-84 when Bruce Grobbelaar was in goal.
Their latest clean sheet was also only the seventh time in the club's history that 30 has been reached, and Spain international Reina is clearly intent on adding another against Everton.
Reina has shared the honour with Scott Carson - now out on loan with Sheffield Wednesday - who has managed one first-team clean sheet this term, and Jerzy Dudek who has contributed two.
Reina said: 'I haven't been counting the number of clean sheets I've kept but I would never try to claim that I was the sole reason for any clean sheet that Liverpool have managed this season.
'If we don't concede a goal, it's all down to teamwork and in some of the games, I haven't had anything to do.'
He added: 'When you're a goalkeeper and you join a great club, you know that you won't have as much to do as a goalkeeper at a club which is struggling or not so good.
'The difference is, you have to concentrate for every second of the match because you never know when you might be called into action. This is the life of a keeper at a big club. You might only have one save to make during a game but you have to make that save.
'If you have just one shot to save, like I did in a game against Middlesbrough earlier in the season, you have to save it. The pressure is intense because if the opposition only gets one chance to score during a whole game, your mistake could cost the team two or even three points.'
He said: 'I'm lucky to have Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia in front of me but the whole team works to defend my goal when we lose the ball.
'The defence starts in attack and every player works hard to get the ball back - no matter whether they're a striker, midfielder or defender.
'We play with our defence higher up the pitch than Liverpool did last season so the boss likes me to sometimes act as a sweeper and clear the ball even if it means me racing 20 yards outside of my area. It's not new for me to do this as I played the same way with both Barcelona and Villarreal.'
Reina does not expect an easy ride against Everton, with the prospect of the physical presence of James Beattie to confront.
The 23-year-old admits he has been surprised by the physical side of the English game, saying: 'Shocked is a better word than surprised. It's too physical.
'Sometimes, the penalty area is like a boxing ring. I'm not joking, some of the strikers are built like boxers and play like them but without the gloves!'