Joe Allen working hard for longer Liverpool stay
Midfielder Joe Allen admits he is playing for his long-term future at Liverpool.
The Wales international had made just one Premier League start this season - at Newcastle a month ago - and with contract discussions which began last March on hold the 25-year-old admits he has to work hard.
"That is something which has gone very quiet so I am not too sure really," he said of talks over his contract, which expires in 2017.
"I have made only one league start this season and I want to play more, I think that is obvious for any player in that situation.
"From my point of view it is about knuckling down, doing my job and giving my best, which I always do."
With Euro 2016 on the horizon Allen needs more pitch time in order to press his international claims and his performance in the 1-0 Capital One Cup semi-final first leg win at Stoke was arguably one of his best.
However, with Liverpool's current injury crisis - 11 first-teamers are unavailable to manager Jurgen Klopp - there is a greater chance of him seeing more action but the prospect of going out on loan seems unlikely.
"There is nothing to report," he said when asked whether he had considered his short-term options.
Allen was not the only one to raise his game at the Britannia Stadium after some angry words from Klopp after Saturday's dismal defeat at West Ham.
The midfielder admits it was the wake-up call everyone needed.
"It was some frank words. As a team we needed to hear them I guess but this squad has great personalities and great character, players who want to work hard, so there is no issue there," he added.
"We knew we needed to respond with a good performance first and foremost, a performance full of commitment and desire and we got that.
"There have been some disappointing results recently and the work is on now for us to get consistent and turn it around.
"Consistency is the key - you only have to look at a couple of great performances we've had this season and we are capable of that.
"You can't be brilliant every game, no team is, but we have to make sure we get it consistent and get those bad performances out of the way.
"If you look at our position in the table and the points we've picked up as a club it hurts us because we are better than that.
"We have the self-belief we can do much better and I think this performance shows that."
Defender Kolo Toure, currently the squad's only fit centre-back, admits for consistency to improve they have to learn there is no time when they can switch off.
Klopp criticised his players for not giving 100 per cent effort at West Ham and Toure said it was a harsh lesson which they have to build on ahead of Friday's FA Cup trip to League Two Exeter.
"A young team has to learn and they have to take it game by game. They have to learn to give 100 per cent in every game," he said.
"You have to learn that the next game is the most important and it is going to be a tough game against Exeter.
"They are going to fight and we have to give 100 per cent again. There is no need to relax.
"Every performance is a challenge where you have to give 100 per cent. It doesn't matter which team you play."