McCarthy for England: Reading keeper's performance the best ever, says Rodgers
21:00 GMT, 14 April 2013
00:57 GMT, 15 April 2013
At least there is hope, and failing that the prospect of receiving a hefty transfer fee.
Reading looked just about ready for the Championship on Saturday with the exception of a stand-in goalkeeper whose remarkable performance drew statements that were grand even by Brendan Rodgers’ standards.
Initially, the Liverpool manager said Alex McCarthy should be in contention for England; then he went as far as to describe his efforts in the 0-0 draw amounted to the best display of goalkeeping he had ever seen.
Scroll down for highlights from the Madejski…
England contention: Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (right) produced a stunning display between the sticks for the doomed club
Not many at the Madejski Stadium disagreed. His 10 saves, especially those that stopped Daniel Sturridge in the first half and Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez in the second, looked out of place in a doomed side capable of coughing up so many chances.
Best ever: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said it was the best goalkeeping performance he'd ever seen
It’s anyone’s guess what impact he might have made on the club’s season had he not missed the past five months with a shoulder injury sustained when he collided with a goalpost against QPR in November.
None of this would have been a surprise to Rodgers, who oversaw Reading’s youth department and later managed the first team when the 23-year-old was coming through the ranks. He said: ‘Reading have always produced good goalkeepers and Alex is one who is next in line for me, he really is a top goalkeeper.
‘I was aware of him just before I left [as youth coach], and when I came back as manager he was still young. Goalkeepers need that experience so he went out on loan but he was always one that the guys here felt was going to be a top goalkeeper and you saw today that he has all the qualities to succeed.’
Having spent time on loan at Woking, Team Bath and Cambridge United, among other sides like Ipswich and Leeds, McCarthy only got selected after Adam Federici aggravated his ankle injury.
Asked if it was the best goalkeeping performance he had seen, Rodgers added: ‘Yes. I was sat in the changing room with the staff and said I couldn’t remember being at a game where a goalkeeper has made a performance like that, either as a manager, coach or spectator.
Attributes: Rodgers, who managed McCarthy when he was Reading boss, says the goalkeeper has all the tools to be one of the best
‘Normally goalkeepers make one or two saves that make a difference, but he made an incredible number of saves and when he was beat it was cleared off the line. It was a brilliant goalkeeping performance.’
Reading manager Nigel Adkins said: ‘We have some excellent goalkeepers. We have Stuart Taylor, Adam Federici, Alex McCarthy, Mikkel Anderson.
‘They are out there and have good competition for places which is important. Alex had been out for a long time, but had the opportunity and made some great saves. Now we have to ensure there is a consistency in his game.’
Frustrated: Liverpool had to settle for a second successive goalless draw
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