Asked to address the frustrating team form of late, Jordan Henderson did not shy away from scrutiny, taking “full responsibility” for recent results.
“I know the manager tries to protect us as much as possible in the press but as players we know that it’s down to us to change the situation that we’re in. We take full responsibility on results and performances. So it’s down to us to go out there, keep working hard, keep fighting to try to change this tough period that we’ve been going through over the last few weeks. Hopefully we can do that starting tomorrow.”
Having a few games at center-back at this point due to the much-documented lack of personnel in that position group, Henderson spoke briefly on how he has adapted to the role amidst a challenging schedule.
“It is difficult to find stability with the amount of games. Obviously you don’t get many training sessions, so we get short sessions during the week before and after games to try to work on things defensively, offensively like we always do.
“It’s about listening and learning as much as possible and trying to take that into the game. For us it’s a difficult time, not only defensively. I think it’s the whole game – offensively, defensively, everything – that we need to keep improving on and keep getting better and try to change the run of form we’re in right now.”
Echoing his manager, Henderson refused to be overly negative despite the side’s failure to get desired results in recent Premier League matches, and focused on the positive, too, ahead of tomorrow’s first leg tie.
“[Y]es, we have been going through a tough period but there’s still a lot of positives to take from performances over the last week or so – we just need to do it for 90 minutes. If we do that then I’ve got every confidence in the team that we can get a good result. But we do need to be at 100 per cent if we want to get anything.”
Above all, he hopes the team can learn from adversity and can grow together as a group — as they have done after facing challenges in the past.
“Yeah, it is difficult when we’ve set standards that we have for a long period of time. To then lose a few games in a short space of time is not normal for us, so it’s something we need to adapt to very quickly.
“But I feel as though the lads give everything every time we train, every time we play – and that’s what we need to do and get our heads down to try to get out of this situation that we’re in. I feel like once we do come out of it – and hopefully that’s sooner rather than later – we’ll be a lot stronger as a team for it.
“I think strength comes from adversity at times and you stick together as a team and get through it. And if we do that then I’m sure we’ll be even stronger come the end.”
The level of adversity the Reds have faced this season has been unprecedented, but fans who have watched this particular side progress under Jürgen Klopp will certainly believe that if anyone can overcome it, it’s this squad.