Adam Lallana: 'Liverpool thrive under pressure'

Lallana: 'Liverpool thrive under pressure'
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Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana believes that his side will relish the pressure of knowing that only a win will guarantee a top-four spot on the last day of the season.

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has insisted that his side are relishing the pressure that will be on their shoulders on the final day of the Premier League season.

The Reds welcome relegated Middlesbrough to Anfield on Sunday knowing that anything other than a win would open the door for Arsenal to steal in and secure a top-four finish ahead of Jurgen Klopp's men.

However, Lallana is confident that the team will step up to the plate and thrive under the pressure of a must-win game, even if it takes them time to break their visitors down.

"Of course there's pressure but there have been a lot of high pressure games this season where we've really stepped up to the mark. Arsenal at home on the back of losing at Leicester and Tottenham at home after losing to Hull. There was big pressure and the lads responded with two big performances," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"There was huge pressure at West Ham last weekend, especially after the other results the day before. But what I liked was that there was a real calmness around the group. We showed great professionalism with the way we approached it. There was the right balance in terms of being up for the game but not getting carried away and I've felt the same this week. We know the job this weekend and we trust ourselves to do it.

"It's important we don't get restless if a goal doesn't come in the first 15 to 20 minutes. At West Ham we didn't get the breakthrough until 35 minutes. We need to trust our ability. The supporters know their job. They aren't stupid, we don't need to build them up for the weekend. They know there's a lot riding on it. I'm sure they'll stay patient like we have to as players. The support they have given us home and away throughout the season has been outstanding. They have driven us on and we'll need them again on Sunday. We want to do it for them.

"It would be a great achievement when you consider the teams that have been going for those places this season. We could hit 76 points, which is a big improvement on last year. The dynamic of the Premier League now is completely different to say five years ago. Leicester City winning the title, Tottenham having two fantastic seasons, plus on top of that you've got Chelsea, Arsenal, City and United. I'd say the Premier League this season has been as competitive as it's ever been. That makes getting into the top four all the more challenging."

Liverpool are bidding to secure Champions League qualification for just the second time in the last eight years.

Adam Lallana in action during the Premier League game between Everton and Liverpool on December 19, 2016
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2Manchester UnitedMan Utd54101621413
3Chelsea531185310
4Newcastle UnitedNewcastle53026429
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs52217348
6Huddersfield TownHuddersfield52215328
7Burnley52216518
8Liverpool52219908
9Southampton52214408
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom52214408
11Watford522179-28
12Arsenal521278-17
13Stoke CityStoke512256-15
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15Leicester CityLeicester511379-24
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton511347-34
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham5113410-64
18Everton5113210-84
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