A string of impressive displays during January have brought Joe Allen plenty of recent praise but the Liverpool midfielder insists he will not let up in his search for more frequent opportunities.

The Wales international scored a crucial late equaliser in the 3-3 draw with Arsenal, found the target again to help see off Exeter City in an FA Cup replay at Anfield and then struck in the decisive penalty as the Reds beat Stoke City in a shootout to reach the Capital One Cup final.

But Allen started only three of the side’s nine matches – and none in the Barclays Premier League – during a hectic month of battling in three different competitions.

Now the No.24 is determined to use his growing contribution as a catalyst to earn more appearances and come further into Jürgen Klopp’s thinking on a regular basis.

“It’s been a tough season with the competition as fierce as ever so any opportunity that comes along, I’ve got to show what I can do,” he said after Saturday’s goalless draw with West Ham United in the FA Cup.

“I hope the last few weeks can be a springboard to force my way into the reckoning for more games. My focus has been on making sure I am ready. Sometimes if you are not playing you can take your foot off the pedal a bit and I’ve wanted to make sure that has not happened.

“I don’t want to get my chance and then blow it. It’s testing because everyone wants to play week in, week out, but we’ll see what comes of it.”

Klopp handed the captain’s armband to Allen for the fourth-round tie against the Hammers as the manager put faith in several young players among his 10 changes to the team.

Liverpool carved out the more promising chances but were repeatedly thwarted by goalkeeper Darren Randolph in the second half, meaning a replay at Upton Park for the right to face Blackburn Rovers.

On the honour of skippering the Reds, Allen said: “Being captain came as a surprise, to be honest. It was only in the meeting before kick-off I was told.

“It’s a great feeling and I would have loved to have won – that would have made it extra special. But it’s something to be proud of.”

He continued: “It was a good performance. We are frustrated we didn’t win, which shows you how well we did. As players you love having confidence put in you. The lads certainly repaid that.

“We saw they came with a strong line-up and in the last 10 or 15 we pushed hard but just didn’t have enough. We’ll just have to go down there and do it.”