FOUR games from greatness.
That is the reality for Joe Allen and his Liverpool teammates ahead of their trip to Norwich this Sunday – as they stand on the verge of the club’s first top flight title for 24 years.
Allen appeared as a 66th minute substitute in last Sunday’s pivotal game with Manchester City at Anfield, and played an integral part in the closing stages as his side recovered from blowing a two goal lead to eventually win 3-2.
And the former Pembrokeshire man told Telegraph Sport that the atmosphere was the best he has experienced since joining the Reds from Swansea in August 2012.
“Obviously everyone knew the magnitude of the game,” he said.
“And the manner in which the fans welcomed us as we came off the coach was incredible. It showed just how much this all means to them.
“And of course the way the game unfolded, together with the atmosphere, made for a spectacular day.”
The fixture came just two days before 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, and Allen admitted the squad had to work hard to maintain their focus:
“With an occasion like that you always have to battle with the mental side of things,” he said.
“You can’t let your emotions get out of hand.”
A late red card to Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson may well now have paved the way for Allen to fulfil a starting role in the club’s upcoming games against Norwich, Chelsea, and Crystal Palace.
Victory in all three of those fixtures, along with a fourth win against Newcastle on the final day of the season, will guarantee the Reds the title irrespective of results elsewhere.
And excitement in the city is building, with Liverpool players arriving at their training complex in Melwood this morning to find supporters had scattered a host of ‘Make us dream’ banners around the ground.
However, Allen insists neither him or his team mates are getting carried away by the prospect of a first Premier League crown.
“No matter what, our approach doesn’t change,” said the 24-year-old.
“We have four games left and we just have to take every one as it comes, starting with Norwich this Sunday.”
The game at Carrow Road kicks off at 12pm.