There’s really no way around it— today’s performance against Swansea was dismal. The visitors’ 3-2 win (their first at Anfield) ended a 17-game unbeaten streak at home for the Reds. The result punctuated a difficult January for Liverpool, where fatigue induced by a packed schedule has been compounded by key squad members being made unavailable (for one reason or another) due to the Africa Cup of Nations. The team is almost certainly at or near its low point for the season.
But Jordan Henderson isn’t wallowing in self-pity. He’s already looking ahead to Liverpool’s upcoming fixtures— Southampton in the League Cup in midweek, Wolves in the FA Cup next weekend, then Chelsea in the Prem a few days later— and is calling on his teammates to pull themselves together.
Speaking to the press after the fulltime whistle, Henderson was asked whether Liverpool’s title hopes were finished following the loss.
“No-one knows that, we'll find out at the end of the season. But it's how you react after defeats, that's how you can show character, show your spirit and show how good you are as a team in the game after. The next game is very important for us, and we need to react in the right way.”
Hendo also said that this one result does not and will not define Liverpool’s season.
“One defeat doesn't make you a bad team, we've still got a lot of confidence in the squad. When we went 2-0 down you could see we still felt as though we could get back in it, which we did. But maybe we were pushing that bit too much for the third and we needed to be a bit more patient, [but we] got done on the counter. So, we're very disappointed but the games come thick and fast and we need to be ready for the next one. We still feel very confident as a team, we've got brilliant players and we just need to keep going the way we have. [We need to] learn from today, because there were a lot of mistakes out there, and make sure the next game we put in a better performance and get a better result.”
And when given an opportunity to single out individual teammates for the overall lacking performance and throw them under the bus, the skipper took a hard pass.
"I felt, as a team, at times we did [defend well] but at times we can defend a lot better. We need to make sure, especially when you get back in the game at 2-2, that first and foremost you defend and, with the quality we've got, you always fancy us to get another goal."