Joe Allen is confident he can return to the sort of sparkling form he demonstrated at the start of his Liverpool career when the 2013-14 season gets underway in 10 days time.

After moving to Anfield in August last year, the midfielder was one of the stand-out performers during the opening exchanges of his first league campaign in a red shirt.

However, the Wales international was forced to undergo surgery in March to repair an ongoing shoulder problem.

Now fully recovered, Allen has enjoyed a promising pre-season so far, including a goal against Olympiacos in Steven Gerrard's testimonial last weekend.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "My challenge is to get back playing at the level I was at early last season. That's the plan.

"I managed to hit the ground running when I first signed.

"Things didn't carry on like that but from the first minute this season I want to give my best and produce good performances for the team."

While Allen admits last year was difficult at times, the 23-year-old insists he's adapted to the pressures of being a Liverpool player.

He's now relishing the prospect of pushing on when the new season begins against Stoke at Anfield next Saturday.

"This is a fresh start and I'm looking forward to playing a big part," said Allen. "Last season was tough. But I suppose things like that can give you broader shoulders. It's at the stage now where I feel it's completely behind me.

"It was tough but it comes with the territory of being a player at Liverpool. You have to deal with it and get through it.

"I'm looking forward to the season ahead."

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