Reina upbeat despite exit

Pepe Reina says Liverpool’s exit from the Europa League to the hands of Braga must not stop was definitely progress for the club over the last few months.

The Reds crashed out of Europe, unable to overturn a 1-0 defecit from the first leg as they were held 0-0 at Anfield last night by the Portuguese outfit.

But Reina says the side must bounce back and end the season positively, even though there is little left to play for.

“We have to bounce back now – that’s football,” he said. “It’s not about how you get knocked out – it’s about how you react. We’re Liverpool and we have to react.

“We have been better in the last three months and that’s positive. We have to look at the big picture and we are improving, we are growing.

“We are disappointed and we know it’s a trophy we can no longer fight for. Now we have to make sure we finish as high as possible in the league.

“It’s a difficult moment and it’s not nice but there are still two months ahead of us and we have to keep going.

Attentions turn to Liverpool’s Premier League away trip to Sunderland this Sunday afternoon. A late flurry of form could see the Reds challenge for a fifth place league finish, and qualification to next year’s Europa League.

He said, “Of course fifth is still do-able. There are nine games to play and a lot of points. Tottenham are involved in the Champions League still and have plenty of games. Hopefully we’ll win enough games to get fifth but of course everyone knows it’s difficult.

“You cannot say we are not going to play in Europe because fifth place is still available.”

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