Allen keen for Europa chance

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen is hoping to be given a chance to impress in the club's Europa League tie against Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday.

Last Updated: 14/02/13 at 15:59 Post Comment

Joe Allen: Eager to impress against Zenit

Joe Allen: Eager to impress against Zenit

The 22-year-old Wales international started the Reds' first 17 Premier League matches after joining in the summer from Swansea but has only been included in the first XI for two of the last nine games following a dip in form.

Allen admits he has not performed well of late but is keen to make amends in the last-32 first-leg tie in Russia.

"My form hasn't been great, especially compared to the start of the season, but that is more down to myself," said Allen. "But I am looking forward to working hard and try to turn things around a little bit.

"I haven't played that much recently so any chance I get to participate then I'll be hoping to impress as much as I can and stake my claim.

"We were bitterly disappointed after Monday's defeat to West Brom, that goes without saying, but we have this tie to look forward to and refocus."

Having been eliminated from the FA Cup last month and falling further off the pace in the Premier League with the 2-0 home loss to the Baggies, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says the Europa League has taken on extra importance.

Rodgers rested players in the earlier rounds of the competition but a near full-strength squad has travelled to Russia to face Zenit.

"It is a competition we want to do well in as it is the last cup competition we are involved in," he said.

"We have put a lot of work in during this competition in the early part of this season and I had it in my mind that when we qualified we could have a really good go at trying to win this competition."

Rodgers also expressed concern at the possibility his players could be subjected to racist abuse from the Zenit fans, who in December published a manifesto calling for sexual minorities and non-Europeans to be kept out of the St Petersburg club.

"I will make reference to it because we have players it maybe could affect but we are here for football," added Rodgers. "No-one in life wants to see anyone come under any sort of scrutiny like that.

"You go into the sporting arena and hopefully everyone from football, Uefa, referees and officials will support any player it may affect.

"There is no doubt if there is anything like that which is untoward then us as a group we will do everything we can to support the player or players.

"We hope it is a game where the officials and Uefa can take care of all that."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Footer 365

Gundogan yet to make decision on future

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan could yet join Manchester United this summer, according to a report from Germany.

Liverpool close in on Milner - Report

Want-away Man City midfielder James Milner could be announced as a Liverpool player by the end of the week, according to reports.

Atleti, Arsenal and Liverpool target Vietto

Villarreal are reportedly attempting to renegotiate Luciano Vietto's contract to ward off interest from Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Mail Box

Calling Carlo For Liverpool... Please

One Liverpool Mailer wants a manager who isn't starstruck by the job. Plus why Milner has now become overrated, play-offs for the title, Ronaldinho and democracy..

James Milner: Jose's Perfect Player?

Probably. But presumably he would not swap one bench for another. We have mails on over-hyped players, Arsenal enthusiasm, UEFA, FIFA and naked dudes...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company