Liverpool’s Adam Lallana was being interviewed by a group of school children, and when after the kids found out his guilty secret was eating the occasional burger one bright pupil got down to serious business asking the 26-year-old who he thinks will finish in the top-four.
The Liverpool midfielder did not even hesitate with his answer saying: “Chelsea, Man City, us and Arsenal,” While stressing that those were the teams and that the order in which they finished had yet to be decided.
Lallana’s prediction takes on added weight as Liverpool face a six-pointer match with Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday knowing that a win would set them up nicely to end the season well.
Since losing to United 0-3 at Old Trafford back in December there is the element of payback in Sundays match with Liverpool since the loss racking up 33 points from a possible 39 which makes them the in form team at the moment even though United completely destroyed Tottenham at Old Trafford 3-0 last weekend.
“Being honest, if you had said to me we would win 10 and draw three of our next 13 league games… if you had asked anyone from any team that, they would have snapped your hand off,” said Lallana.
When talking about the loss to United the England international said: “That was a reflection of our confidence at that time. We were just so low as a team and afterwards it left a sour taste in your mouth.”
When asked how he thought United would deal with a new resurgent Liverpool Lallana said:
“They will be worried about us.”
“The rest of the league will be looking at us and the run of form we’re in. It’s incredible.
“And the six successive clean sheets away from home. That’s been massive for us as well.
“We’re so confident that we are just concentrating on ourselves, preparing ourselves, we’re not worried about the opposition.
“Confidence is sky high and there is no one we feel we can’t beat.
“You can over-think a lot of things when you’re not playing well and worry too much about the decisions you’re making whereas now, we’re free as a team.
“Going out on to the pitch and being free mentally is a massive thing. We’ve got that in abundance and that’s why we’re picking up results.
“The other night against Swansea we were really poor in the first half, as poor as we have been since the Palace game [Liverpool lost 3-1 in November].
“Back then, we probably would have come in two or three-nil down, whereas now we seem to have got that grit, that determination when we’re not playing well to not concede.
“We were able to come in at half-time, regroup and got the 1-0 win. It’s a great sign that.”
In many ways Lallana’s season has echoed that of the club, with him no longer being guaranteed a start yet when he has played he has shown a willingness to do all he can for the team since arriving with fellow Southampton signings last summer.
“It would have been great to come in and start on fire and all the signings to be contributing, but that is just not how it works nowadays,” he said.
“We very rarely kept the same team because we weren’t playing well and the manager had to keep changing and looking for that formula but it wasn’t coming.
“Credit to the manager, he has found a system that suits the players and now the confidence and belief has gone sky high.
“Everyone is starting to slowly find their feet. Their own traits are coming out and they are finding themselves.
“You can see they are happy, enjoying their football and that they are settled.”
• Adam Lallana was supporting PlayStation’s partnership with the English Schools’ FA. The football tournaments for secondary schools have attracted close to 2,000 entries and 100,000 participants to help nurture stars of the future.
• SPOTTED: Southampton hit back at Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers with program note
• Adam Lallana: The FA Cup is Liverpool’s big chance to get to Wembley
• Joe Allen: How we turned it around at Liverpool after a rocky start to the season