Joe Allen is aware that he is playing for his future at Liverpool, but has made it clear that it is not a distraction as he prepares to deputise for injured Reds skipper Jordan Henderson. The Welsh midfielder is guaranteed to start after putting in some impressive performances in the absence of the Englishman, who suffered knee ligament damage in the first-leg of their Europa League quarter-finals clash against Borussia Dortmund.
The former Swansea midfielder has found limited opportunities under Jurgen Klopp, but has excelled every time he has been given an opportunity. Henderson and Emre Can have been ahead in the pecking order, but the former's injury is set to give Allen an extended run in the team, which he is keen to utilise and convince the club to hand him a new deal, which runs out in just over a year.
"At a club like Liverpool you are always playing for your future. Maybe more so now than ever before for me but it's not something I've thought too much about or focused too much on," Allen told the Echo.
"It's just a case of looking forward to games like Thursday night. Of course I hope I start. It's a huge game. Every single player in the squad will be hoping the same."
The 26-year-old midfielder is also a favourite among the supporters and came off to a standing ovation following his impressive showing during the Merseyside club's 4-1 win over Stoke City on Sunday (10 April).
"It meant a huge amount. I'm really grateful for the support I've had from the fans," the Welsh midfielder added.
"It was a special moment to have experienced that. I really enjoyed it. It's always a privilege to play at Anfield and when you pick up three points, it makes it that much sweeter."
"My focus all season has been on staking a claim. Inevitably there are injuries and suspensions throughout the season so you will get opportunities," he explained.
"My aim hasn't changed. It's about trying to make sure when you get an opportunity that you take it with both hands."
"There is a lot still to play for this season and there's still a lot to achieve. I want to be a part of that."