Joe Allen delivered a frank assessment of his recent form by acknowledging he has not matched the high standards he set at the start of the season — but the midfielder has vowed to do all he can to return to his best.
The Wales international admits he has been disappointed with his performance levels over the past few weeks — though he believes the hard work he’s putting in on the Melwood practice fields will pay dividends.
With Liverpool gearing up for key Barclays Premier League games against Arsenal and Manchester City this week, Allen is determined to conjure up the kind of performances that saw him excel against those teams at Anfield earlier in the campaign.
“In recent times, I think it goes without saying it, [my form] has been slightly disappointing, to be honest, but I am faithful and confident that I will turn things around on a personal level.
“It’s games like Wednesday where, if I can be involved in some way, I can get my performance levels higher. The games against Arsenal and Manchester City earlier in the season are probably the level I am hoping to reach again and be more consistent with.
“There is no magic formula. I’ll keep working hard and keep faithful there will be another performance like that just around the corner.
Allen will head to the Emirates on the back of firing his first Liverpool goal in Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round loss at Oldham Athletic.
Ultimately, it counted for little as the Latics held on to secure a 3-2 win — but the 22-year-old is hoping it’s the first of several as he stressed the importance of spreading goals around the team to aid top-scorer Luis Suarez.
“At the time the goal gave us a chance to get back into the game, so I was hoping it would prove to be an important goal but when it counts for nothing you just move on and look to get a goal that will count for something,” Allen reflected.
“It’s always important [for other players to chip in with goals]. It’s fantastic for Luis to get that many goals and I am sure there are many more to come from him this season.
“The more we can add around that will be for the better. It’s something I feel is improving at the moment and everyone is looking forward to chipping in themselves.”
Allen admits the disappointment of Sunday’s shock Cup exit still lingers, but he’s confident the Reds will be fully focused on the task on hand by the time they travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal on Wednesday.
“It was one of those days, I think,” he said. “You can’t question the mentality of the players here. We approached the game to win it, but unfortunately for whatever reason we didn’t perform the way we should — and could — have and we got punished for it.
“It’s difficult when you face a disappointment like that. A club like this wants to be challenging for trophies. Obviously we got to the final last year, and so to go out in the way we did is pretty terrible, really. But we’ve got two big league games to look forward to, turn our focus to and turn things around.”
Photo via LiverpoolFC.com