Wales coach Chris Coleman has defended the playing style of Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen.

Coleman believes that while Allen, 22, will have a battle to win over the Kop faithful, the pint-sized midfielder, who faces Manchester City today, is in the same mould as Michael Carrick.

Wales boss Coleman said: "Joe is a terrific little player at what he does, keeping possession, retaining the ball and keeping the rhythm. He's brilliant at that.

"He's not a Steven Gerrard who will hit a 60 or 70-yard killer pass. He will pass through the opposition's units and move them about. It's his strength.

"It's a really good point to ­associate him with Michael ­Carrick. People have started ­going, 'Carrick's doing really well this year'. But I don't think it's any ­different to what he has always been ­doing.

"People say he's lazy but he's a big boy and what he does is think quickly and puts himself in a good position. Then he gets the ball and gives it to someone else like Paul ­Scholes or Giggsy or whoever to hit that killer pass.

"Carrick is doing well but I've always thought he's a good player. He does the quiet jobs. Just like Joe."