Dalglish hails Reina's skills

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Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has seen his side score nine goals in their last three matches but clean sheets still give him as much satisfaction.

The late penalty in the 1-1 at Arsenal two weeks ago was the only goal the Reds have conceded in that spell as their attacking play has done much to limit chances at the other end. However, goalkeeper Jose Reina has had the odd moment when he has had to show his class and Dalglish is pleased to see the Spain international keeping the opposition out.

"It is important for us that we don't lose goals at the back," said the Reds boss. "It is important for Pepe (Reina), who has been fantastic in the last few months or so. He has really commanded his area; he wasn't as busy in the 5-0 win over Birmingham as he has been in other games but he was very confident and that helps us."

In an interview with Spanish radio this week Reina gave the broadest hint yet that he was prepared to stay at the club beyond the end of the season after much speculation he could follow compatriot Fernando Torres out of Anfield.

As far as Dalglish is concerned it is not an issue for him, as he had not spoken to the Spaniard about him leaving The 60-year-old Scot, still awaiting confirmation of his permanent appointment, is more concerned with moving the team forward. He has been impressed by the progress they have made since he took over in January and is keen to maintain that to the end of the season and beyond.

"I never had any preconceived idea of about how quickly they were going to adapt so I couldn't say I was surprised because I never had any thought in my mind as to how long it would take," he said. "I don't know what the training was like before because I wasn't here and so I cannot quantify the changes other than the personnel.

"I just know what we have tried to do since we came in and we have done it very well. What's pleased me most is the way the players have gone about training and thrown themselves into it, got behind what we are trying to do, and the support they have given the backroom staff.

"The reward they have had for the hard work they have done is there for all to see and that encourages them. On the whole we can be very happy with what they have returned."

Dalglish is unbeaten at Anfield in nine matches since returning as manager and he will look to extend that run against Newcastle on Sunday.

Former Magpies striker Andy Carroll will undergo a late fitness test to see if he has recovered from the knee injury which forced him to miss last week's 5-0 win over Birmingham.

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Jose Reina
Premier League
Newcastle United
Fernando Torres
Kenny Dalglish

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