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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Two Chelsea fans summoned to appear in court over claims of racist chants

Two men summoned to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in May following claims of racist chants at St Pancras Station.

Arsenal are repoortedly keen to sign Liverpool's Raheem Sterling

Arsenal are interested in signing Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, with the winger set to reject his offer of a new deal.

European Qualifiers round-up: Wins for Germany, Portugal and Romania

Goals from Marco Reus and Thomas Muller gave Germany victory over Georgia while Portugal beat Serbia to go top of Group I.

Mail Box

Can Wenger Coach Young Players Anymore?

One Mailboxer wonders whether Wenger has still got ability to bring through young talent. Plus £50m for Sterling, stop being matey with footballers and Blackpool...

Forget About Flair And Play Like Greece

'Forget about flair and play like Greece' is one outsider's advice to the England national side, while an Arsenal fan wants to sell Theo Walcott to get Marco Reus.

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