Mike Marsh hailed the resurgence of midfielder Joe Allen ahead of Liverpool's Barclays Premier League clash against Cardiff City in the Welsh capital this afternoon.

The 24-year-old has been in fine form for the Reds in recent weeks, helping to press the opposition without the ball - and keep play ticking over in possession.

Marsh believes the Wales international is finding his feet in the first-team after overcoming injuries that have hampered his progress at Anfield, since he arrived in the summer of 2012.

The club's first-team coach was speaking as part of a special Cardiff preview at Melwood, in which he also sang the praises of Jordan Henderson, Jon Flanagan and looked ahead to another vital clash...

Firstly Mike, what's it like to be involved with Liverpool at the current moment, as a coach? 

It's great at the minute, it's a great environment. Everyone is full of confidence and enjoying their football, so it's a great place to be at the minute.

Can you describe what the dressing room was like after that win over Manchester United?

Obviously everyone was really pleased; to go to Old Trafford and win 3-0 was a really important result for us. The dressing room was buzzing afterwards so it was a good place to be.

How big a result was it, bearing in mind not just the occasion of playing Manchester United at Old Trafford but what had happened with Chelsea the previous day? It put a little bit of extra pressure on the result...

It does, doesn't it? When you're either playing the day before or the day after, it's important that you pick your results up. If the team playing first gets a positive result, it adds a little bit of pressure to the teams playing second. We knew we had to pick a result up and fortunately we did.

How pleased were you with the performance of Joe Allen after a tough couple of months with injury?

He was excellent, as he was the week before. He has come in and played in a diamond, which is a formation in which you have to do a lot of running. He has put the yards in, but when he's on the ball as well, he's been excellent. The last couple of games have been really good. He has come from Swansea and, with no disrespect to Swansea, it's not the same as playing under the pressures at Liverpool, where everything is scrutinised globally, not just nationally. He has taken his time to settle in and has had an unfortunate time with injuries; he seems to have overcome them and is playing really well.

Quite a few players seem to have turned from boys to men this season, and perhaps no greater example than that of Jordan Henderson?

He has had a great season and managed to get himself in the starting XI for England as well. He has really pushed on. We're a really young side, talking about the likes of Jon Flanagan, Raheem Sterling, Joe Allen and Philippe Coutinho. We're a young side with bits of experience with the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.

Are you almost like a proud father to Jon Flanagan? You have had so much involvement with him coming through to the first team...

It's great just to see him playing. He's a lad that really enjoys his football; he's really passionate about Liverpool Football Club. Not only that, his quality on the pitch and the performances he's putting in - you know he's giving 100 per cent every week. When he comes off the pitch against the likes of Manchester United, he's delighted and I'm delighted for him. He's a really calm customer. He goes about his business well.

Lots of your former teammates are waxing lyrical about Liverpool at the moment - it must be nice to get credit from people who have been there and done it in the past?

It has been great, everyone likes a compliment regardless of what walk of life you're in. If you do well, it's nice to get a pat on the back. These people are vastly experienced and they are saying we have got a chance to push on and maybe create a little bit of history ourselves. We're really pleased with all of the accolades that are coming our way at the minute.

Is this current set of Liverpool players as exciting as the team that was so successful in the late 1980s?

Time will tell; we're only at the start of our journey, they were at the end of theirs. We're a work in progress. Certainly until we have the trophies on the table that they had, you wouldn't be able to say.

Cardiff this weekend - Liverpool can't take anything for granted against a team that are fighting for their life in the Premier League at the moment...

Everyone in the Premier League - other than one or two teams that are sitting comfortably in mid-table - is fighting for something. You're fighting for Europe, relegation, the Champions League or the title. Cardiff are right down there at the bottom, fighting tooth and nail to get the points and we know it will be a difficult game.

Will their tails be up slightly? They were unlucky at Everton last weekend...

Possibly so, but they are going to fight for it whether their tails are up or not. They are playing at home, the onus is on them to get some points because they're running out of games. We know they'll be up for it.

Is there a great deal of excitement for you about how the youngsters are coming through to take the club forward?

The manager has made some very good appointments, in the younger age groups. They are pretty much aligned with him; the likes of Alex Inglethorpe and Neil Critchley are cool and calm, there's no bawling, shouting and screaming on the touchline. The players are allowed to develop and play their natural game. It seems to be working out well.

How much does that help when you're inviting those young players up to Melwood? It seems to be that all the teams are now looking to play the same way...

We've been doing that for a number of years, but there's a bit more joined-up thinking. We don't want the players feeling in awe of coming up to Melwood, we don't want it being a totally different environment to the Academy. We try to work along the same lines and it seems to be paying off.

Have you noticed the difference when players come to Melwood, that they feel almost that they know how to play from memory because of their coaching?

They work along similar lines. Obviously it's a little bit different in Kirkby because you're working a lot more on development. It's a bit different at Melwood - it's not so stop-start; you're preparing for games rather than preparing for the long-term. But the players seem to like it, they come along, express themselves and do really well.