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Allen relishing fight for Liverpool place

ESPN staff
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Joe Allen replaced Steven Gerrard against Fulham on Saturday © Getty Images
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Joe Allen is using Martin Skrtel to inspire his bid to end an eight-month absence from Liverpool's Premier League starting line-up.

Allen was a midfield regular in the early stages of last season after making a £15 million move from Swansea. But his form dipped as he struggled with a shoulder problem, which eventually required surgery, forcing him to miss the final two months of the campaign.

He then sustained a hamstring injury during the 4-2 Capital One Cup win over Notts County on August 27, and did not play again for nearly two months. As a result of those injuries, Allen has played just 34 minutes of Premier League football since March 16.

Allen now faces a battle to regain a spot, with Jordan Henderson emerging to establish himself alongside Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard.

But centre-back Skrtel faced similar worries earlier this year - first losing his place to Jamie Carragher in January, and then beginning this season on the bench, with Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure starting ahead of him. Agger has now lost his place to Skrtel.

Skrtel found a way back in as manager Brendan Rodgers decided to shuffle his back line; and Allen is hopeful that he will get a chance too.

The 23-year-old told the Liverpool Daily Post: "Martin is the perfect example for anyone who feels frustrated or impatient when they are not in the side. He's done brilliantly and my idea is to do the same. Dealing with not being in the team can be tough, but it's part and parcel of football.

"There will be occasions when you are out of the side. You do feel frustrated that you are not playing as much as you would like. If that's the case, you have to do everything to put yourself forward for selection again. The more you get back out on the pitch, the more things will start to flow properly again. I can't wait to get my chance."

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