Allen embraces added pressure

Image: Joe Allen: An important figure for club and country

Joe Allen claims to have 'massive belief' in his ability and to have embraced the pressure which accompanies a big-money move to Liverpool.

Liverpool new boy comfortable with hefty price tag

Joe Allen claims to have 'massive belief' in his ability and to have embraced the pressure which accompanies a big-money move to Liverpool. The Wales international moved to Anfield during the summer transfer window in a £15million switch from Swansea. He may only be 22, but Allen is now regarded as a key figure for club and country. Liverpool are looking for him to keep their midfield ticking over, while he is now considered to be a leading light in Chris Coleman's national side. Allen insists he is happy to shoulder added responsibility, with any player setting their sights on the top of the game having to push themselves to be the best they possibly can be. Ahead of Wales' 2014 World Cup qualification opener against Belgium on Friday, he said: "There is a difference for me now. I think it's quite easy to see that. From my point of view, I'm looking forward to that level of pressure. "You aspire to play at the highest levels and be the best player you can, and these are obviously the things that come with it.

Approach

"You have to have massive belief, it has to border on arrogance at times. I think you can see the difference of a top player playing with belief or without it. That's something you have to cope with in football and something we strive to achieve." He added: "There is a new pressure, an added pressure that comes with situations like mine but I've had the experience of being part of the Olympics, which was a help in terms of starting this Premier League season. "I said to myself that I'm going to approach this year the same as I've approached any other in my football career and give it everything I can, and at the end of the day say to myself: 'Have you given your best?' If you have, you can't do any more than that." Much of the build-up to Wales' clash with Belgium has focused on the Premier League contingent within the visiting ranks - with the likes of Moussa Dembele, Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini in contention to figure in Cardiff - but Allen believes the hosts have enough quality of their own to compete. "I think it's natural sometimes to focus on the opposition, the players they've got and the stars they've got in their team," he said. "But I think it's important sometimes to remember the talent and ability that we've got in our team. "I think it's been well documented, especially over the summer, the players they've got in there and the transfer fees they've commanded. We'll all have to make sure that we're on our toes because it's going to be a very tough encounter."

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