Interviews

Lallana: We are dealing with pressure in our own way

Midfielder wants level-headed approach as Albion enter the final straight of the campaign.

By Charlie Hanson • 19 March 2021

By James Boardman
Adam Lallana's only goal for the club came against Leicester City, but the Foxes turned things around to win 2-1 on the night.

Not putting added pressure on yourself is the key to taking points according to Adam Lallana.

Saturday's match against Newcastle United may be regarded by outsiders as a 'must win' for both sides, but the 32-year-old doesn't see it that way.

“We're not building the game up because there are still nine more to go after this weekend. It's a big one against Newcastle but we're not playing with the pressure of it being a 'must win', because when you play like that it's difficult to perform.

“The mood is good and it has been for the past four or five weeks even when we have struggled to pick up points. It was important that we kept plugging away and we backed ourselves that we would turn those performances into results.

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Montage: Southampton 1 Albion 2

“It could have been easy at Southampton to feel the pressure, but as a group we have been quite content with how we are performing – it would be different if we weren't playing well.

“I have been involved in teams – I remember Southampton all those years ago - when you don’t perform and you feel the pressure even more. But because we've been performing and creating chances, there is still that confidence there that helps.”

Lallana is happy with the mix of experience and youth in the Albion team, which he reckons will be important between now and the end of the season.

“We've got a good balance, including lads who have been at the club for a few years and have been in this position before, and that can only help us going into the final stretch of the season.

“We just want to focus and keep the level of our performance high. If that happens, then we are going to take points in the majority of our games.

“We know what our job is though – it's not about being pretty, it's about getting points on the board however they come. At this stage of the season it doesn't matter if we win ugly.”

Albion haven't always had the results that reflect their performances this season. Lallana believes in-game focus is the culprit – Albion have only won six of the 13 Premier League games they have scored first in – but he is confident that it's something Albion have improved.

By Paul Hazlewood
Adam Lallana runs over to celebrate with Lewis Dunk after taking the lead at St Mary's.

“It's about the mentality a little bit. If your performance drops even slightly in a game, at this level you get punished and we've been on the receiving end of that a lot this season. We can sit here and say that we've been unlucky, but there have also been times when we've become passive or lost concentration.

“The team's mentality has evolved and I have definitely seen improvement over the course of the season.”