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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.”

Anzhi head coach Guus Hiddink secured an impressive 3-1 Champions League win at Anfield in 2009 during his time in charge of Chelsea.

The experienced Dutchman is glad to be back at the prestigious venue and hopes to orchestrate another away win with his latest club.

“I’ve been here before and when I remember the last time it was a very good result, but with a different club (Chelsea),” he said.

“If we could manage to get the same result, which is not very realistic, then we would be very happy.

“But aside from that personal detail, Anzhi is very happy to be in this stage in Europe and will try to perform well in one of the most memorable stadiums in the world of football.”

Wed 24 October, 2012
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