Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen comfortable with £15m price tag
Wednesday 05 September 2012
Joe Allen is embracing the pressure of his big-money move to Liverpool and is ready to use it to help Wales secure a place at the 2014 World Cup.
Just a year ago the midfielder had yet to start a game for his country, but following his £15million move from Swansea to Anfield he is being mentioned in the same breath as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey as key figures in Chris Coleman's side.
Wales kick off their qualifying campaign against a star-studded Belgium side including the likes of Vincent Kompany, Mousa Dembele, Marouane Fellaini and Eden Hazard.
If Wales are to start the campaign with three points the contributions of Bale, Ramsey and Allen will be crucial.
And the 22-year-old is ready to rise to the challenge.
He said: "There is a difference for me now. I think it's quite easy to see that. From my point of view, I'm looking forward to that level of pressure.
"You aspire to play at the highest levels and be the best player you can, and these are obviously the things that come with it.
"You have to have massive belief, it has to border on arrogance at times. I think you can see the difference of a top player playing with belief or without it. That's something you have to cope with in football and something we strive to achieve."
He added: "There is a new pressure, an added pressure that comes with situations like mine but I've had the experience of being part of the Olympics, which was a help in terms of starting this Premier League season.
"I said to myself that I'm going to approach this year the same as I've approached any other in my football career and give it everything I can, and at the end of the day say to myself: 'Have you given your best?' If you have, you can't do any more than that."
Much of the focus in the build-up to the Cardiff City Stadium clash has been on the Premier League contingent in the Belgium line-up and, while Allen recognises the talent in the visitors' squad, he has warned that the quality Wales possess should not be underestimated.
"I think it's natural sometimes to focus on the opposition, the players they've got and the stars they've got in their team," he said.
"But I think it's important sometimes to remember the talent and ability that we've got in our team.
"I think it's been well documented, especially over the summer, the players they've got in there and the transfer fees they've commanded. We'll all have to make sure that we're on our toes because it's going to be a very tough encounter."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal are so close to winning the Premier League, but sometimes Arsene Wenger holds them back, says Jamie Carragher
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
Real Madrid vs Juventus preview: Juventus know they must attack to match past European glory
Two new members of Floyd Mayweather's The Money Team blag their way into entourage to celebrate to celebrate with Justin Bieber
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show