LONDON: Australian Brad Jones says he will be “ready” for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final when Liverpool will need their third-choice keeper to defy Mersey neighbours Everton.
Jones came off the bench to make his Reds league debut when Alexander Doni was sent off in Tuesday night’s dramatic 3-2 win at Blackburn. First-choice Pepe Reina is under suspension after a headbutt red card.
Jones said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet, it’s been a bit of a shock – not something I was expecting. Now it’s a case of getting focused and ready.”
Doni, 32, was making only his second appearance for Liverpool, following his debut in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa. Now Jones will make his first start for Liverpool since December 2010. Substitute at Wembley will be 18-year-old academy goalkeeper Danny Ward, who joined from Wrexham in January and is yet to make a senior appearance for any club.
Jones’s first touch at Ewood Park was to save Yakubu’s 27th-minute penalty, awarded after Doni had been shown a red card for fouling Junior Hoilett.
He said: “I was with Yakubu for a few years at Middlesbrough and I waited a while, had a guess and made the save. It’s been a difficult 18 months with my son passing away and the result was thanks to the fans for their support. With the birth of my son Nico on Wednesday this has now been a good week.
“It’s a big game at the weekend and we just have to be prepared and stay focused for it.”
Liverpool led 2-0 through two Maxi Rodriguez goals when Doni was sent off, but Blackburn fought back to make it 2-2 before Andy Carroll ended the Reds’ four-game winless streak and gave them only their third Premier League victory of 2012 with his stoppage-time header.
Speaking after the match, manager Kenny Dalglish refused to discuss Doni’s red card, or Jones’s foul on Yakubu in the second half that saw him booked and concede another penalty, from which the Nigerian levelled the game from the spot.
“We’ll leave talking about the other incidents until we look at them,” Dalglish said.
“To get a man sent off and come away from here with a victory speaks great credit for the players. It’s been a smashing day for us.”
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