Brad Jones on Wembley derby win: “I didn’t have a lot to do.”
PEPE REINA ran to Brad Jones to congratulate him at the end of today’s FA Cup Semi-final, one of many signs of the obvious camaraderie on display at Anfield, not to mention the popularity the Australian international has with his team mates. Jones was in between the sticks for Liverpool as Reina served the last of his three-match suspension and did all that was asked of him as the Reds booked a third trip to Wembley with a 2-1 win over Everton.
After the game Brad spoke to ESPN but was modest about his own part in a win that might be talked about as much as the final in years to come: “We knew that the game was going to be fairly even,” Brad said, “and we know that they have a lot of quality players and a good front-line, so we just had to deal with it.
“The boys at the back are fantastic players and I think they dealt with it well. I didn’t have a lot to do.”
The Reds went in a goal down at half time and seemed low on self belief. The second half saw Liverpool take control of the game with Everton retreating into their shells. At one point the possession stats showed the Reds on 85%. So what changed from that first half? “We knew we had to pick it up, half time,” Jones said, “we all spoke and we knew we had to step up a gear, we knew we had a half left to play. We were confident but we knew we had to put the work in.”
The work paid off with Luis Suarez capitalising on a mistake from Distin to give Liverpool the equaliser. Then with three minutes on the clock Andy Carroll capped a fine performance with the winner and a place in Reds folklore. Brad Jones was full of praise for him: “He’s fantastic. The media knock him but as a guy he’s a top man at the club. He works hard, he stays back, he does extra training, he deserves this goal at Wembley.”
Jones knows he’s only there until Reina’s back: “In the end, Pepe is the main man. We don’t dispute that, he’s been top drawer for the last five or six years so I’m hoping he’ll be proud of it. I’m hoping he’s got the chance to come back here as we all do and hopefully pick up the trophy.”
Brad Jones wears gloves featuring the Anthony Nolan. Consider registering with the organisation as a stem cell donor – you could save a life: anthonynolan.org