Lucas will lift Allen - Rodgers

  • Last Updated: November 3 2012, 7:53 GMT

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes fans will see a different side to midfielder Joe Allen's game once Lucas Leiva returns to the side.

Joe Allen: Has had to be more circumspect

Allen, who followed Rodgers from Swansea in the summer in a £15million deal, has seamlessly slotted into a pivotal central role in which he has become the fulcrum of the team's passing game.

However, with Lucas missing through a thigh injury Allen has had to be slightly more circumspect in his approach.

But Rodgers believes the expected return of the Brazil international, who has made only four appearances this season having come back from knee surgery last November, later this month will bring out a new element to Allen.

Lucas will provide more of a defensive shield, giving Allen the chance to express himself more.

"I think you will see a different part of Joe's game," said Rodgers. "I am not sure whether you will see an improvement because I think he has been at a real high level.

"But you will see his flexibility in how he can play further up the field. He is really dynamic in that middle-to-final third and sometimes you see those little bursts when he breaks through and is exciting.

"Lucas is a player who is progressing really well. He is working very hard off the field to arrive back as quickly as he can.

"We had good news on his scan the other day and hopefully in the next few weeks he will be back and that will make us stronger."

Other injuries are occupying Rodgers at the moment as he waits to see whether goalkeeper Jose Reina, who has missed the last four matches, and defender Glen Johnson will be fit enough for tomorrow's visit of Newcastle.

"Hopefully Pepe won't be too long before he is back," he added.

"We will see how he is for the weekend but if not then hopefully it will be soon after that. Brad Jones was the number three goalkeeper and he has worked his way up to number two and shown what a number two is about: coming in and being solid for the games you are asked to play.

"My decision will be when Pepe is fit. At the minute there is no decision as Brad is clearly playing in goal, he is doing a really good job, working hard to keep himself in the team and give me a decision when Pepe's back."


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