Liverpool v Newcastle
Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is confident there is plenty more to come from him and the team this term.
Following his summer move from Southampton, England international Lallana had to wait until September 13 to make his competitive debut for his new club due to a knee injury he sustained in pre-season.
He now has 11 appearances and one goal to his name for a Liverpool outfit struggling for consistency so far after the highs of 2013-14.
Second in the table last season, the Reds go into today’s early Premier League game against Newcastle lying seventh.
Lallana admits he is not yet firing on all cylinders individually but is optimistic his “best form is not too far away”, and has also emphasised the entire squad’s commitment to improving results.
The 26-year-old said: “There’s still more to come.
“I feel it’s going to be a gradual process. There are lots of games coming, so hopefully my best form is not too far away.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy joining Liverpool, but it’s an opportunity I am delighted to have. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
“I’ll always give it my all and work my hardest, whether I’m playing well or not.
“That’s an attitude that filters through the squad. It’s an honest group here and I can assure you we’re working hard in training day in, day out to put it right and get good results.”
Two late goals saw Liverpool pull off their first win in three games on Tuesday, a 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over Swansea.
And Lallana added: “We’re still in all competitions and we haven’t been at our best yet.
“We may not have gelled or found the right thing to trigger our performances, but we’re still grinding out results when we need to.
“We’ve been scoring late goals and that shows we keep going until the last minute.
“We’ve got a fit group of lads and we may not be performing as well as we know we can, but that grit, determination and character is what you need.
“(The Swansea win) has given us a lift. Hopefully it triggers a good performance at the weekend.”
Liverpool will once again be without striker Daniel Sturridge for today’s contest.
Sturridge was ruled out for two to four weeks earlier this month with a calf problem having only just recovered from a thigh injury sustained on England duty.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers indicated the 25-year-old would also miss the Merseysiders’ Champions League game at Real Madrid on Tuesday and the home top-flight clash with his old club Chelsea a week on Saturday, plus England’s encounters with Slovenia and Scotland on November 15 and 18.
Liverpool also still have Mamadou Sakho (thigh) and Jon Flanagan (knee) unavailable for selection, along with ex-Newcastle man Jose Enrique, another sidelined by a knee issue.
In Sturridge’s absence, Rodgers will once again make a call on the best option in attack from Fabio Borini, Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli, who is the only one of the trio to have scored this season and broke an eight-match goal drought in the Swansea tie.
Meanwhile, Rodgers has praised the Newcastle hierarchy for keeping faith in manager Alan Pardew.
Pardew was under severe scrutiny earlier this season during a poor run of results for his side, but the 14th-placed Magpies have won their last three games in all competitions.
And Rodgers said: “It is great credit to the directors there at Newcastle, because I know Alan is a top-class manager, but we all know the pressures of being a manager if you’re not winning games.
“We’ve seen already this season the number of boards and owners that change their manager.”
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