Dalglish backs third-choice Jones11/04/2012 - 08:09:04
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists he has no worries about Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final despite having to field third-choice goalkeeper Brad Jones.
The Australia international made his unexpected Premier League debut for Liverpool, after just two appearances in the Carling Cup and Europa League, after Alexander Doni was sent off in the 3-2 win at Blackburn.
Jones had a mixed night as he saved Ayegbeni Yakubu’s penalty with his first touch but was then at fault for conceding the spot-kick from which the Nigerian equalised with his second goal of the night.
With Doni and Jose Reina suspended for the weekend’s clash against Everton, Jones has suddenly become a pivotal figure having not featured at all under Dalglish, with his last appearance coming in December 2010.
“We don’t have a problem going in with any players, no problem whatsoever,” said the Scot.
“It was a great first contribution in the Premier League to save a penalty, I am sure he will remember that.”
Jones dedicated the win to his son Luca, who died from leukaemia in November.
The 30-year-old, whose girlfriend gave birth to a son Nico Luca a week ago, told Sky Sports 1: “The supporters have been brilliant. It’s been a difficult 18 months with my son passing away. That was for him.”
Maxi Rodriguez had put Liverpool 2-0 up with two goals inside 16 minutes but once Doni had been dismissed things went downhill as Yakubu headed in one before half-time and converted a spot-kick after the break.
The match appeared to be heading for a draw only for Carroll to head the winner in the second minute of added time – his first league goal since January 31.
“I think Andy is very confident and got what he deserved,” said Dalglish.
“He worked really hard and scored a fantastic header – I don’t think confidence is a problem.”
Carroll’s goal, only a third league victory of 2012 and the return of full-back Glen Johnson for the first time since February’s Carling Cup final were all positives from the evening.
“The victory will do everyone the world of good. We’ve not had the best of results recently and that gives everyone a lift,” said Dalglish.
“It is always that much more enjoyable when you win a game with 10 men.
“They deserve a bit of enjoyment, everyone at the club.
“And we have two other players – Glen and Daniel Agger – who came through the game and that will have done them the world of good and we need to assess them and see if they are to be considered for the squad for Saturday.”
Blackburn manager Steve Kean felt aggrieved at Liverpool’s winner as he felt Grant Hanley had been fouled immediately prior to Carroll’s header.
“The last goal Hanley is trying to get back on to his feet and Martin Skrtel has pulled him down so he can’t get back on his feet and pick up Carroll, who he was marking,” he said.
“The only way Liverpool were going to get something was on the break or a set-play and we needed that whistle or flag to go up for a blatant foul.”
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