How Liverpool are preparing Adrian for Everton clash amid criticism of Alisson deputy

Liverpool are preparing Adrian for a huge game against Everton in the Merseyside derby. The back-up goalkeeper has come under-fire after conceding seven against Aston Villa before the international break but will again start this weekend.

Both goalkeepers in the game have come in for recent criticism with Jordan Pickford also struggling for Everton.

All eyes will be on the pair with Liverpool hoping Adrian can step up in Alisson’s absence to continue their recent record of success against their local rivals.

Former Liverpool keeper Chris Kirkland is well aware of the pressure that comes with the No.1 shirt and the Merseyside derby.

And he has revealed that the Reds staff have rallied around Adrian ahead of the game in a bid to prepare him for the huge fixture.

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“I spoke to [goalkeeping coach] John Achterberg,” Kirkland told Goal. “He said they would put an arm around him, rally round and make sure they keep his focus and his concentration high, and get him ready for Everton.

“That’s all you can do. There’s no easy cure. Just train hard, train right, prepare yourself mentally and get ready to go again.”

Kirkland also admitted Adrian must be prepared for criticism as the No.2 goalkeeper behind a player of Alisson’s calibre.

He added: “It’s tough being a goalkeeper, especially a No.2 goalkeeper, and especially a No.2 behind someone like Alisson. You’re being judged against the best in the world, so you’re never going to come out of that one well, are you?

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“There will always be criticism. People will always say ‘Alisson would have saved that’ or ‘the defence looks on edge because of who’s in goal.’ That’s inevitable.

“Adrian has plenty of experience, but I admit I was surprised at Villa that Liverpool didn’t push up a bit, let him kick a few long to feel his way into the game.

“It’s not easy to play like Alisson, especially when you’re nowhere near as good with the ball at your feet.

“Against Everton, he’ll be wanting a bit of action early on to calm him down. Hit his first couple of kicks true, maybe come and take a cross, make a save, whatever it is.

“You don’t want to be waiting for something to happen, because that’s when you can start trying too hard, almost trying to make something happen.”

Klopp, meanwhile, gave an encouraging injury update on Alisson ahead of the game, although he is not yet fit to return.

The Brazil international is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in training which looks set to keep him out until next month.

Klopp said: “Very, very positive with Ali. Looks really good. Made big steps. I don’t have a time frame but it looks really good.”

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