Liverpool’s Spanish goalkeeper Jose Reina has claimed the Barclays Premier League’s golden gloves award for the third season in succession ahead of today's final game of the season at Tottenham.
Reina has kept more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper in the top flight, and is assured of the title this season with closest rival David James out injured in Portsmouth’s final game of the campaign.
But Reina is more concerned with Liverpool’s overall progress following a campaign that has seen them trophyless for the second season on the trot, while already being assured of fourth spot in the table and Champions League qualification for next term.
Reina said: “We are growing up as a team, year in and year out. We need to keep improving all the time because if you do that it gives you an even better chance of winning trophies.
“But we also need to bring in some more good players like Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano.
“The most important thing is to keep on making progress so that we can get closer and closer to the sides at the top.
“We will work hard to make this happen, though, and I am sure the manager is already thinking of bringing in some players to help us to do that.
“It is a collective thing. There is no point in three or four players doing well if we do not all do well.
“You win as a team and you lose as a team, so it is all about making progress as a team.
“We are still a young side. We have a couple of centre-backs in their early 20s, Mascherano is 23 and Torres is 24 - we can only get better and better.”
And Reina is looking for improvement in his own performances next term.
He added: “Of course I can get better. Every player can improve and no-one should ever think they can no longer get any better.
“You have to keep on working hard every day in training and in matches and if you do that then you have a chance to become the very best player you possibly can.
“That is the same for everyone in football and I am no different. I know there are things I can improve upon and I will continue to work hard so I can try to become better.”
With 17 clean sheets from 37 Premier League games this term, Reina is one ahead of James, who has been ruled out of this weekend’s fixtures with a calf injury.
Reina said: “I will be looking to keep another clean sheet at Spurs because that would mean we will get at least a draw.
“That is always important. If you do not concede a goal then it gives you a better chance of winning games, so if the defence and the goalkeeper can do their jobs it makes it easier for the attacking players to do theirs.
“But for me the job is now done. We have managed to secure fourth place and from a personal point of view I am happy to get the golden gloves.”
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