Lallana’s mental strength key to on-field success as Anfield

Adam Lallana.
Adam Lallana.
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Adam Lallana’s mentality helped him get through a testing start to his Reds career.

The England midfielder injured a knee in pre-season and did not make his debut until mid-September and it is only in the last six weeks he has really looked at home in the first team.

He is dovetailing well with Philippe Coutinho, who signed a new long-term deal yesterday, and Raheem Sterling and with Daniel Sturridge soon to return to the attack on a full-time basis he will also be looking to build up a good relationship with the striker.

Having been deployed in a variety of positions Lallana is flourishing as one of the two deep-lying attackers behind one central striker.

“I remember seeing Adam when he was younger and he was a wonderful technician but he has a toughness mentally,” said Rodgers. “He didn’t become captain at Southampton for nothing. It wasn’t given to him because he was a local player and I could see that.

“I remember talking to a few of the guys who had been with him with England and they said he was a tough character.

“He has all the skills and mentality to play at a club like this where the pressure is on every day and every game and you can see he is relishing that.

“He was outstanding at the weekend (against West Ham),” he added.

Liverpool travel to the Macron Stadium to face Bolton tonight in the FA Cup looking to book a fifth-round tie against Premier League opponents Crystal Palace.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is fully fit for the fourth round replay after sitting out the weekend with a tight hamstring.

Striker Sturridge, who scored in a 22-minute substitute appearance against West Ham on Saturday after a five-month lay-off, is likely to be on the bench again.