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Tootle's 'slug' goal celebration

The Toe Poke

Reina looking ahead to next season

Pepe Reina already appears to be planning to spend next season at Liverpool, warning his team-mates that it is essential that they avoid another horror start to the campaign.

Reina has been widely linked with a move away from Anfield this summer, with Arsenal a known suitor following a rejected bid for the goalkeeper last summer. Manchester United have also been credited with an interest in a player who has, at times, seemed disillusioned this season.

Following the sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea, Reina has been vocal about Liverpool's need to display ambition in the transfer market, insisting they have to be challenging for honours in order to retain his services.

The chance to win trophies evaporated rapidly under former boss Roy Hodgson, who led Liverpool to an early Carling Cup exit and had them hovering near the relegation zone following one victory in his opening eight league games.

However, the arrival of Kenny Dalglish has signalled a turnaround in fortunes, sparked by victories over Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, and Reina now wants to see that form taken into next season.

"We didn't start this season, or last, the best - and next time we need to make sure that doesn't happen," he told LFC Weekly. "We need to be consistent with the aggression, commitment - everything. And if we get the balance right, we'll be a lot closer to where we want to be."

Reina has also compared Dalglish to his opposite number at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola.

"Guardiola is a bit younger than him, of course," he said. "But they have very similar backgrounds - icons as players and great managers as well. It is important that Kenny knows the club.

"He's a legend in Liverpool - and I mean a legend because sometimes that word is used too much for other people. Kenny knows exactly what the people here think and what the supporters want to see.

"Because he was a great player himself, he understands the point of view of a player and that means he knows how to set standards. He makes everything much easier for us. We have improved since Kenny became manager. We have beaten the big teams. But it is important as players to repeat that in every game."


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