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Allen: "There Were Improvements All Around"

Joe Allen insists there were improvements to be seen against Ludogorets. Some might argue the point, but Liverpool are still alive in Europe, and perhaps that's what counts.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers might be optimistic, and after four losses in a row a draw is certainly a small, tentative step in the right direction. For many, though, it was another poor performance, one Liverpool were perhaps fortunate to escape from. And it came against what was supposed to be the cannon fodder of their Champions League group.

Still, in the cold light of day, the draw was enough. The club will still have their fatea in their own hands when FC Basel come to Anfield for the final group game. So if that's what the players, in the midst of such a poor run of form, want to focus on, then perhaps they can be forgiven for sounding a touch out of touch with what happened on the pitch last night.

"You want to win games of course, but the most important thing is that we're still alive in the competition," said Joe Allen following Wednesday's 2-2 draw in Sofia when reporters caught up to him in the tunnel. "It's good for it to be in our hands and for us to be in the position we are at the moment."

It's still a little tough, though, to hear the players and manager talk about it as though it was a good performance, when for long stretches they were second best against a side that measures its big money signings in hundreds of thousands rather than tens of millions. The result was enough, but the performances, from the manager on down, still weren't good enough.

"There were improvements all around," insisted Allen. "I think the commitment was there for everyone to see. I think we had more composure at times than we have had recently, so there were positive things. But to concede the goal like that from a set-piece is disappointing, and we'll work on it to make sure that we're better next time."

Just how improved they were is a matter open for debate, but they did enough to keep their European Campaign alive. Perhaps that should be enough, at least for the time being and as frustrating as it might be to hear talk of a 2-2 draw with Ludogorets where Liverpool were often outplayed being good enough.

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