Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes return of Lucas will benefit Joe Allen

Joe Allen: Has manager Rodgers' backing at Liverpool

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Brendan Rodgers is convinced the imminent return of Lucas Leiva will have a galvanising effect on his team, and on Joe Allen in particular.

The Liverpool manager believes a fully-fit Lucas, who played an hour for the Under 21s on Friday after three months out with a thigh injury, will bring out the best out of Allen, the £15m summer recruit from Swansea.

"Hopefully Lucas will have another good week next week and by next weekend he won't be too far away. He knows the ideas we're trying to implement here," said Rodgers.

"Lucas is a top professional, an international player, and he's got good experience in this country so when you've got someone of that calibre coming back, it certainly makes you better."

Rodgers admits he has had to deploy Allen in a more defensive role in the absence of Lucas, but has had no qualms about doing so.

"Joe's transition has been fairly smooth but in the last couple of games he's not been at the level he would want to be but there are all sorts of reasons," he added.

"He's been playing a lot and he's just become a father so he's had many sleepless nights.

"Since he has been here he has been asked to play a more defensive role purely because of the loss of Lucas.

"If your balance isn't right in midfield then you can get exploited. Joe has done well because he knows exactly what I'm after having worked with me for a couple of years."