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

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

Eden Hazard lands PFA Player of the Year award

Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has been named the PFA Player of the Year.

Harry Kane lands PFA Young Player of the Year award

Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been named the PFA Young Player of the Year.

Arsene Wenger says it is impossible for Chelsea to lose title

Arsene Wenger believes it is just a matter of time before Chelsea are crowned champions after their 0-0 draw at Arsenal.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

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