He may not have experienced the competition in his career to date, but Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen already knows what Champions League football means to Kopites.

Only two sides across Europe have lifted the continent's greatest club trophy more times than the Reds' five, although four years have passed since the team last graced the tournament.

A strong showing throughout the opening 16 games of the Barclays Premier League season means Brendan Rodgers' charges are currently on course for qualification in 2013-14, though.

Allen is not just conscious of his own desire to test his skills in the Champions League, but also that of Liverpool fans to once again enjoy dramatic evenings under the Anfield floodlights.

"It's difficult not to look up, but we have our targets set within the club," he told BBC Sport when asked about the second-place Reds' ambitions after downing Tottenham Hotspur 5-0.

"There are a lot of clubs vying for the top four places, and it would mean so much to the supporters of this club if we can get back into Champions League football because we all know they have got a rich history with that competition.

"It's the kind of thing you aspire to as a professional footballer - the Champions League is the pinnacle of club football in many ways. It's a dream of mine to be able to play in it and, hopefully, come the end of the season I might be looking at the chance to do that.

"It was a fantastic result, to go away from home and get a result against a team like Tottenham on their own patch was incredible. It's a great feeling this week and we all can't wait to go back out there on Saturday for another game.

"That has been the big difference this season, in particular; last season, of course there were good performances and results, but we seem to be making them more consistent now. That's a really good sign and what you need going into a tough Christmas period.

"That's one of the reasons that confidence is so high at the moment; we have had some great wins at Anfield, scoring plenty of goals. We know if we go out there and perform the way we have recently, then hopefully that will be enough to get three points."


Luis Suarez struck two more sumptuous goals at White Hart Lane on Sunday, increasing his Premier League tally to 17 with a precise shimmy and finish and a finely-executed lob.

Allen described the Uruguayan forward as 'a dream' and revealed - as suggested recently by manager Rodgers - that the No.7's teammates take inspiration from his incredible exploits.

The 23-year-old continued: "With a player like Luis Suarez firing on all cylinders, he's a danger for any team. He's a dream to play with at the moment.

"To have someone in your team who is capable of creating something almost out of nowhere is a massive bonus. Players like that really bring the best out of the rest of the team as well.

"As a striker, he can do everything - that's the beauty of it. Of course you want your striker to score goals, but the work-rate he puts in for the team as well is there for all to see and much appreciated by the rest of his team.

"Being surrounded by top players like that is going to affect your game and there are things to learn from those sorts of players. You can see the confidence he is playing with at the moment is great for Liverpool."