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Europa League the focus for Liverpool

Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones says the team is focused on their Europa League clash with Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala at Anfield on Thursday.

The Reds come into the game after a first home win of the Premier League season over Reading on Saturday.

And Brendan Rogers’ side need another victory if they are to be sure of reaching the knockout stages – they currently lie third in the table behind big-spending Anzhi and Udinese, who they lost to last time out.

Three days after their European match, Liverpool travel to local rivals Everton in the Premier League but Jones insists that isn’t their centre of attention.

“It’s the same as any other week,” the Australian said. “We need results and we want results.

“This week we have got Europa League and then we have got a derby, obviously we want to win both. That’s how we work every week, we want to win.

“In the sense of how big a week is it, it’s one of many throughout a long, hard season and we are going to go out and try and win both games.”

Jones is expecting a tough game against Anzhi, who have lost only once in their past 22 games in all competitions under the guidance of former Australia national team manager Guus Hiddink.

“I think this season started a lot better for them (Anzhi),” Jones said.

“I know that a lot of players came in and maybe they struggled a little bit, making sure that everyone was on the same page.

“Obviously they have got a very good manager, very experienced and I think maybe this season he has constructed more of what he wants and they are seeing that in their league position. So they’ll be a strong team, definitely.”

Liverpool assistant coach Colin Pascoe is also anticipating a difficult fixture against the Group A leaders on Thursday.

“It will be a very tough game,” he said.

“Anzhi have gone 21 games and lost one game and won 17 and drawn three, and they’re unbeaten in Europe this season. It will be a very tough game.”

Wed 24 October, 2012
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