English Premiership

Allen credits Wales team-mates for improved form

2016-11-03 10:09
Joe Allen (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Joe Allen has hailed the influence of his international teammates after four goals in five games as well as two assists in Stoke City's recent 3-1 win over Swansea.

For most of his career, the diminutive Welshman has been deployed in a deep-lying playmaker role for club and country while also being competent in a box-to-box midfield role.

However, during Wales' incredible semi-final run at Euro 2016, Allen featured more prominently in areas further upfield, which led to his new position as an advanced playmaker at his new club.

The £13m off-season signing was considered a major coup for Mark Hughes, and his recent displays for the Potters have not gone unnoticed.

Another former Swansea attacker, Wilfried Bony, thrived thanks to the support of the Wales international in mid-week at the Britannia, and now the 26-year-old claims working alongside world-class talent has moulded him into a more complete footballer.

"It's natural for any player to do that. With Wales you've got the likes of Gaz [Gareth Bale] and Aaron [Ramsey] and there is so much you can learn from them, but also the players I was fortunate enough to play with at Liverpool," he told ITV.

"Players like Coutinho and Lallana have played in a similar sort of role to the one I'm playing now; you try to pick up a thing or two from them and that's what I've tried to do.

"I think everyone knows that the goal scoring record I've had in the past has not been the best but I maintain the confidence that if I'm asked to play further forward I can get into positions where I will chip in with a few. 

"I believe this isn't just a flash in the pan and I can keep this consistency going."

Allen will be hoping his form continues when Stoke travels to London to take on West Ham United.

Kick off is at 17:00 on Saturday.

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AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Crystal Palace v Swansea City, Selhurst Park 16:00
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