Joe Allen explains why players may be more attracted to Liverpool

Joe Allen believes progress made during the time he has been at the club attracts players to Anfield.

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen has said that occasions such as this weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa will help to entice players to Anfield - as they did with him in the summer of 2012.

Ever since the arrival of current owners Fenway Sports Group - who have appointed two managers during their time at the club in Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers - the Reds have managed to win silverware in the League Cup, narrowly missed out on the Premier League last term, but returned to the Champions League this season after a five-year absence as a result.

Allen is quoted in the Liverpool Echo as saying: “It’s the reason you join a club like this – the dream of competing for the top prizes and potentially getting some silverware. There’s a huge incentive for every player here. It’s also the type of game the supporters can’t wait for.

“The season before I joined the club, they won the League Cup. You want to build on that. I think the most important is that there has been progression every season.

“Last season we came so close, we didn’t win the title but it was still a successful season. People have to see it that way, as hard as it was to swallow.

“It was disappointing how it went in the Champions League this season but playing in that competition was another step forward."

Allen appears to be reflecting on his time at Liverpool as if it has been some sort of journey, one that has shown signs of Liverpool moving in the right direction on the field.

Though they may not be taking the steps they will have wanted to in the league this season, they appear to have silenced doubters surrounding whether or not Rodgers can piece together a good cup run. As well as this Sunday's cup clash against Aston Villa, it took extra-time for Chelsea to knock them out of the semi-finals of the League Cup.

Another criticism that has been levelled at Liverpool recently is their level of performance in the bigger games.

Some suggest that the defeat to Chelsea at Anfield last season was one of them - though the circumstances of them ultimately losing the game and missing out on the title were unfortunate - but more recently the losses to Manchester United and Arsenal have severely damaged their chances of qualifying for the Champions League for a second successive season.

Sunday will be another chance for them to prove that they can handle the big occasion, as they are strong favourites to reach the FA Cup final. That in itself may not completely silence those particular doubters until Rodgers has some silverware in his hand as Liverpool manager.

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