Tuesday 26 September 2017

Sturridge return lifts Henderson

Jordan Henderson, right, welcomed Daniel Sturridge's return
Jordan Henderson, right, welcomed Daniel Sturridge's return

Liverpool vice-captain Jordan Henderson believes the return of Daniel Sturridge has boosted not only their goal threat but also confidence within the squad.

A goal on his comeback in the 2-0 win over West Ham, after five months out with thigh and calf problems, showed just how much the Reds had missed the England striker after some costly toothless performances without him.

Sturridge's comeback has, almost in an instant, Liverpool believing they are guaranteed at least a goal a game just like last season, when he and Luis Suarez combined to such devastating effect.

Judging by the rousing reception he got from Anfield that feelgood factor has been scooped up by fans desperate to see some decent build-up play finally get the finishing it deserves.

"It was obviously good for Dan to come on and get his goal so there were some positives," said Henderson.

"It gives the crowd a lift when they see such a big player coming back and he never loses his movement - even though he has been out for so long -and it was a great finish with his right foot.

"He is a huge player, he has such talent and he can change a game in a couple of seconds.

"He will keep getting better and better. It is a great boost for everyone involved the club and hopefully we will kick on and get some momentum going."

While all the focus will be on what is now happening up front, some credit should be given to what has taken place at the other end.

Three successive Premier League clean sheets were achieved for the first time since the opening month of last season and Liverpool have let in just five in seven league matches since losing 3-0 at Old Trafford in mid-December.

"The last couple of months, especially over the Christmas period into January, has been a good time for us," added Henderson.

"We have been really strong at the back, we are pressing well and the intensity is back, the pressing is like it used to be, and that comes with confidence.

"Obviously we have done work in training to be a lot more solid and the lads have taken on what the manager has said really well and there is a lot of communication when a set-piece comes in.

"We are defending really well, which is important, and they deserve a lot of credit.

"If there is any negative it is we need to be better in front of goal, we need to be a bit more clinical.

"We have some fantastic players but we have to make sure we stay solid defensively and then you have players like Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling who can unlock defences.

"If we can carry on doing that I think we can get some good results."

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