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26 February 2024

Liverpool's Jones keen to impress again in Cup


Brad Jones is aiming to prove once more he still has plenty to offer at Liverpool as he gets a chance to impress against Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed the Australia goalkeeper will start in the match away to the Championship side on Saturday, in which will be just his second appearance of the season, with his other coming against Oldham in the last round of the competition.

Jones, 31, was given more chances last term owing to injuries to Pepe Reina but pre-season signing Simon Mignolet has played in every Premier League game this season.

However, the back-up goalkeeper is ready to prove he is capable if required in more major encounters.

"For me, it's a case of training hard and making sure that I'm ready," said Jones. "In general, I treat each day before a game like I'm going to play, even though 99 percent of the time I probably won't.

"I learnt pretty early on that anything can happen. And it can happen to me. I've been called upon five minutes before kick-off; there have been lots of different things.

"I've realised that you've got to prepare all the time like you're going to start, so that if that surprise is sprung on you, you're as ready as you can be.

"There are obviously boys whose chances have been limited. If the gaffer gives you a chance, you've got to try and take it.

"Being a goalkeeper, it's different if you're not playing. It's rare that you come on as a substitute.

"But I think in general it's very similar for a lot of players. Nothing gets guaranteed, it's purely down to the manager's ideas of the game and what he wants to do and circumstances. I'll just continue on.

"I've said it before - I didn't expect to play so many games last season and you never know what's going to happen."

Rodgers also revealed that Glen Johnson is out for an "indefinite" amount of time as the defender looks to recover from ankle and groin injuries that he has been 'carrying' for most of the season.

Midfielder Lucas Leiva is also out after suffering strained knee ligaments in last weekend's league draw with Aston Villa while defenders Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Agger and Jose Enrique remain out but Jon Flanagan is fit to return.

The meeting with Liverpool provides south coast club Bournemouth with a distraction from their efforts to establish themselves in the second-tier Championship following promotion last season.

Eddie Howe's side currently sit seven points above the relegation zone and midfielder Harry Arter believes the club has made steady progress.

"In our first season in the Championship, it was important to become better players and become a better team. Without doubt, we have done that," said Arter.

Tommy Elphick, the Cherries captain, believes the club's pre-season friendly with Real Madrid will prove to be valuable preparation for the visit of Rodgers's side.

Bournemouth lost that game 6-0 but the defender said: "I think just the buzz around that game has helped to prepare us.

"It's very similar, with the press calls and people queing for tickets and stuff.

"Obviously on the day we didn't give as good a show against Real Madrid as we would have liked, but it was early in pre-season and they were a bit better fine-tuned than us, so hopefully we can put a better show on against Liverpool on Saturday."