MX23RW : Tuesday, July 17 11:58:09

Brendan Rodgers backing Joe Allen to cement Liverpool place

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers backs Joe Allen to make the most of his current starting berth.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has backed Joe Allen to make the most of his first-team opportunities.

Allen has been on the periphery this season, but started the 3-3 draw with Everton and the 5-1 win against Norwich City on Wednesday.

"We certainly needed to make some changes [after the Hull City defeat] to get to a high level technically in the game, Joe got his chance and he's a top-class young player," Rodgers is quoted as saying in the Liverpool Echo.

"Of course there was a bit of anxiety and nervousness at times which comes from having not played for so long but in general I was pleased with him. It's been difficult for Joe because he's been up and down with injuries and then he's been unable to get in the team.

"He has done very well in training. I said to the players three weeks ago that December is a really big month for us and I will be using a lot of the squad to ensure we freshen things up."

The Reds take on West Ham United this afternoon.

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Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates with teammate Steven Gerrard after scoring his team's second goal against Norwich during their Premier League match on December 4, 2013
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