Belfast Telegraph

Lallana: We've turned a corner

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana feels the team may have finally turned a corner after knitting together a cohesive performance which produced goals.

The 4-1 home win over Swansea was the first time since late March the side had scored that many in the league.

Goals, over 100 of them, were what the Reds built their title challenge on last season but their strength up front disappeared with the sale of Luis Suarez and loss of Daniel Sturridge to injury.

However, they are approaching the time when, 12 months ago, they went on an incredible run which saw them almost pip Manchester City for the Premier League crown and with Sturridge to return in the next few weeks optimism is beginning to grow again.

"The last two or three weeks we really feel as if we have turned a corner," said Lallana.

"We've been picking up results and playing better - that was missing for the first three months of the season.

"Against Arsenal we felt hard done by to only get a point (they dominated the game but drew 2-2), we put in a gritty performance against Burnley (to win 1-0) and it was important we got the win against Swansea.

"We knew the Christmas period was a great chance for us to pick up maximum points and slide up the table and we are looking for more of the same against Leicester on Thursday."

Lallana produced arguably his best performance in a Liverpool shirt since his £23million summer move from Southampton with two goals against Swansea.

He accepts he has had a tough time settling in, especially with a number of other new arrivals, but believes everyone is starting to find their feet.

"It's been difficult, we're not going to shy away from that, for one reason or another," he added.

"The lads are slowly settling into the team and Emre Can (playing as the third centre-back) was brilliant.

"I thought Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo put in really disciplined performances.

"It's not easy for them coming from abroad, being young, not being able to speak the language, so I'm really happy for them as well as the team."

Lallana was happy with his own performance, which was the first time since March 2012 he has scored twice - those goals coming against Barnsley in the Championship.

His first may have had a touch of good fortune when goalkeeper Lucasz Fabianski's clearance rebounded off him but the second involved some nifty footwork and a clinical finish.

"It was nice. The first one people can say it was lucky but if you don't close down the keeper then you don't get the goal," he added.

"I've played lot of my football in a central role and I feel more relaxed and comfortable there with a bit more of a free role."

After an odd performance at Burnley, where they were second best but came away with three points, the display against Swansea was more akin with the way they played against Arsenal just before Christmas.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has tinkered with formations and selections but he now feels everyone is on board with how he wants to play - and that is on the front foot in a 3-4-3 set-up.

"That was what was missing from our way of working for the first period of the season," he said.

"We are a team that plays with a big pressure, we have got technically-gifted players in the team, but that ability to press the ball allows them to get chances and create chances at the far end of the field.

"If you look at how we played against Manchester United we were very unfortunate and we conceded poor goals but the creativity started that day.

"We looked at a shape and system that could get us back to how we played last year.

"We didn't quite get that result but I saw enough. We moved on to Bournemouth and played really well, Arsenal we deserved more and again the performance was better.

"We had to show a different side against Burnley and Burnley's result against Manchester City (a 2-2 draw) showed what a great result we had at Turf Moor.

"Against Swansea we came out with the intensity and work-rate and got a reward.

"Our creativity was very much there but a solid base behind it and that is key for us."

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