Liverpool have scored few goals at Anfield and produced poor results for large parts of a season that can still be turned around. Performances from the players have been underwhelming without Liverpool's sharpest edges from last season, but the Champions League tie at Anfield tomorrow offers the players a chance to give loyal Reds much to smile about. Joe Allen is aware of the positivity that victory and qualification can bring on what could be another wondrous night of European football at Anfield.
FC Basel will provide Liverpool with a stern test and after the disappointing draw against Sunderland at Anfield, Liverpool must find a way to create good opportunities against the Swiss side. Brendan Rodgers has stressed the need to be patient in seeking a required victory against side that will attempt to counter Liverpool's attacks in a scenario where the visiting side only need a draw. Joe Allen appreciates that the fans will play a vital role in helping Liverpool to victory and understands that the Anfield crowd will need something in return.
"It's a huge game and we owe the fans a performance," Allen observed in the pre-match press conference alongside Brendan Rodgers. "Our home form last season was so good. We blew so many teams away. It must have been frustrating for the fans at times so far this season with the way results have gone. As players, we really appreciate the support they continue to give us. We will make sure we give it everything to get the result for them. We all worked so hard to get back in the Champions League and it would be a blow if we didn't get beyond the group stage. When the groups were announced we thought we were good enough to get through and that hasn't changed. We're in a position where we can do that and we need to take this chance. We have the ability and talent to make that happen."
Allen has summarised the situation perfectly for management, players, and fans. It would be quite the misfortune for Liverpool to succumb to the perils of the group stages after the performances that enabled Liverpool to reach the land of milk and honey, especially with less than illustrious competition with the notable exception of Real Madrid. The last sentence is the one that's causing not only confusion for the Liverpool fanbase but could be the source of dissatisfaction with the manager. Joe Allen hopes to be able to support a manager he knows extremely well and is expecting inspiration from the Antrim man.
"I had a niggling problem but I'll be fine for the Basel game," he confirmed. "I'm ready if called upon. The manager always picks his moments for the big speeches to try to inspire us. This is the sort of game where we will probably be on the end of one of those speeches. The support we're going to get will also be a huge factor. I'd call on every supporter to get behind us."