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During his recent injury lay-off, Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen has not had to look far for reassurance that an immediate impact upon returning to the team is possible.
The Welshman has been restricted to watching from the sidelines after suffering a hamstring problem against Notts County in the Capital One Cup at the end of August.
Striker Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, missed the majority of pre-season with an ankle injury, but has struck eight goals in nine appearances during a scintillating opening to 2013-14.
So with Allen preparing for a comeback when the Reds travel to Newcastle next weekend, the 23-year-old is encouraged by the instantaneous transition of Sturridge.
"It's another worry you have when you have been out for a while - how is it going to affect your performances when you get out there?" Allen told Liverpoolfc.com.
"But you look at someone like Daniel Sturridge, he was worked so hard during his rehab to make sure he's in great shape getting back out there.
"You can see from how well he is doing that it's possible to get straight back into the swing of things. First and foremost, you wish you were playing - that's natural.
"But you see things from a different perspective and you appreciate the role everyone plays in the team. We've had such a great start to the season.
"It has been a pleasure to watch, at times I feel like a bit of a fan. Long may that continue and hopefully I can add to the already great performances we've had."
When Brendan Rodgers left Swansea to become Liverpool manager in June 2012, the Northern Irishman wasted little time in recruiting his former player Allen.
The boss has offered regular support to the No.24 throughout his enforced lay-off as the pair attempt to build on the foundations they each laid in their maiden season at Anfield.
"He's just told me to keep my head up and make sure I'm ready when I do come back, and be ready to work hard," Allen continued.
"Tuesday is a big day I'm looking forward to, getting back into training. When you're injured you realise just how important it is to you and how much you miss it.
"Just to get back out there training and back into the matchday fold is what I'm aiming for and what I've worked hard to do.
"We're a year down the line. Transition was a big word used last year and people were probably sick of hearing it, but I think we've proved at the start of this year that was the case.
"There were a lot of things getting bedded in last year and we're really reaping the rewards of all the hard work we did, even though there were disappointments at times.
"I'm sure as a manager he feels better for that and you can certainly see, as a team, we have benefited from it."
Five victories in seven Barclays Premier League fixtures have lifted Rodgers' side to second in the standings - a result Allen attributes to an increasingly positive spirit in the dressing room.
He said: "It's something that has blossomed - we've got great personalities and characters here. People talk a lot about team spirit; for some people, they don't think it is important.
"But, as a player, you know better really. It's really key when you go out there - you want to make sure that you give your best not just for the fans and the club, but for your teammates as well.
"That's the sort of atmosphere that we're growing at this football club."
Author: @shawct Tagged:
, Brendan Rodgers
, Joe Allen
, daniel sturridge
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