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

Adam Lallana.Adam Lallana.
Adam Lallana.
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.

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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.

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“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.