Joe Allen: Stoke City's Wales midfielder 'had to move on' from Liverpool
Wales midfielder Joe Allen says he feels "refreshed and positive" following his summer move from Liverpool to Stoke City.
Allen scored his first international goal on his 32nd appearance in Wales' 4-0 win over Moldova in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier.
The 26-year-old joined Stoke City from Liverpool for £13m in July after only starting eight league games in 2015-16.
"I think it had come to the point where I needed to move on," Allen said.
"Personally, it was pretty obvious.
"Any player will tell you regular football makes tonnes of difference to the way you perform and the way you feel out on the football pitch.
"It comes to a certain stage in your career where if it's not happening then you have to go and seek it out.
"Hopefully I will get much more game time now and I think that is going to be really important for me in my international career as well."
The Wales international joined Liverpool from Swansea City for £15m in the summer of 2012. He had a year left on his contract at Anfield but joined Stoke after starring for Wales at Euro 2016.
Allen excited by Bony signing
Allen has been impressed by the calibre of players fellow Welshman Mark Hughes' has assembled at Stoke City.
Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony signed on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day and joins a squad which includes Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan Krkic and Marko Arnautovic.
"It's pretty obvious that my type of play would not have suited Stoke years ago," Allen added
"But the likes of Shaqiri, Arnautovic, Bojan, (Ibrahim) Afellay and (Giannelli) Imbula, players they have brought in - and others that were already there (Glenn) Whelan, Jonathan (Walters) and (Peter) Crouch - the list went on and on.
"It made it really appealing to me, and was one of the big reasons why I signed there.
"You have seen they have finished ninth three years running and they are not happy to settle for that. Now everyone is talking about the impact Bony will have at Stoke, and the boys who played with him at Swansea talk very highly of him.
"So I'm looking forward to getting back up there now and playing alongside him."
Stoke City, bottom of the table after two defeats and a draw in their opening three games of the Premier League season, host Tottenham on Saturday.
'Just what we wanted'
Chris Coleman's side are top of Group D after their opening win - and play away in Austria away and at home to Georgia in October.
"There was pressure on us to get off to a winning start and get those three points which was important for us," added Allen. "But to do it with four goals and in relative comfort in the end is just what we wanted.
"On a personal note to get the goal was a nice bonus as well.
"In the last few years at Liverpool I have played more as a holding player.
"But I feel there are a few types of positions and roles I can do.
"It's a good string to my bow to be able to do different things for the team."