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European Qualifiers Group B

Allen aiming to catch the eye

Joe Allen is hoping to use Wales' friendly with Finland as a chance to impress Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

Last Updated: 15/11/13 at 14:25 Post Comment

Joe Allen: Hoping to impress Rodgers with a good display for Wales

Joe Allen: Hoping to impress Rodgers with a good display for Wales

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The 23-year-old has recovered from a hamstring injury and was named on the bench for last Saturday's 4-0 thumping of Fulham at Anfield.

Allen missed the back-end of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery, then had to watch on as Rodgers' Reds made a fine start to the 2013-14 Premier League campaign, which sees them lying second in the table - just two points behind leaders Arsenal.

The former Swansea midfielder admits it has been 'difficult' watching on at times - but is determined to shine against the Finns, in a game which is live on Sky Sports 2HD, as he looks to kickstart his campaign.

"It's been a stop-start season for me and it's been frustrating to miss a large chunk for club and country with injury," Allen told the Western Mail.

"I had a shoulder operation in March and missed the back end of last season. I got pre-season under my belt and I thought the injury problems were behind me, but, unfortunately, I picked up the hamstring injury which set me back.

"It was a bit of a wake-up call for me, a reminder that you get highs and lows in football. Everything was going so smoothly and to plan for me, then I've had these injury problems to deal with, but hopefully they are out of the way because I'm ready to go and make up for lost time."

He added: "It's been difficult watching on, but also great to see the team (Liverpool) doing so well.

"We've had a really good start to the season, probably doing better than some people expected. It's great to come back into that - I want to be part of it and hopefully playing for Wales will help my cause."

Wales manager Chris Coleman, who is staying on until the end of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign after signing a two-year contract extension, is likely to be able to call upon the services of Allen, Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale.

Allen became the most expensive Welsh footballer when he secured his £15m move from Swansea City to Liverpool in 2012 - but that fee was dwarfed this summer when Bale moved from Tottenham to Real Madrid for £86m.

Ramsey has also been hogging headlines after his dazzling form for Arsenal, having scored 11 goals in all competitions.

But Allen insists he is delighted to see his Wales team-mates doing so well, saying: "It's great to see them do so well because people within Wales knew for a long, long time what top players they were and it's fantastic for everyone to realise what they can do.

"With Aaron I think I and everyone can tap into the way he has come back from injury, although his was obviously terrible.

"People forget he's only 22, but the things he has achieved already is incredible. He has silenced his critics.

"And Gareth's ability is the best I've seen. To have the most expensive player in the world to come from Wales is amazing.

"I had the Welsh record for about a year but he blew me out of the water...but he's not a bad player to lose it to!"

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