What happened in Sevilla hopefully stayed in Sevilla. Tuesday’s miserable draw with the Spanish club was deflating for all. But if strong heads prevail, it doesn’t have to mean that Liverpool let a little thing like totally capitulation on a football pitch affect their confidence going into a major Premier League match-up with Chelsea this weekend.
There are many strong personalities in this Liverpool dressing room, taking responsibility, spreading good cheer and leading the charge of mental recovery. But the pressure is always on for a Liverpool player. Nothing can change that. Nothing can stop it. As captain, one of Jordan Henderson’s jobs is to deconstruct this pressure for his team, to take the bulk of it, be the face of it. A lightning rod of sorts. But, sometimes, a punching bag, bless his heart.
“We expect big things as a team and club,” said Henderson, speaking to Premier League Productions. “And with the players we’ve got we have to be winning every week, really.
“That is the pressure we put ourselves under. So, when we don’t perform to the levels we should, then of course there will be criticism and of course that will hurt.
“You have to use that as best you can. I’ve been in that position a few times in my career and I’ve tried to use it to my advantage every time I step onto the pitch.
“I’ve felt a responsibility throughout my career when I’ve played and had a bad defeat or bad game, so it does affect me. But as a captain I have to forget about myself and think about the team really.”
Henderson and the boys will have an opportunity to right those Sevilla wrongs on Saturday when Chelsea roll up to Anfield. Besting Chelsea at home would be a sweet, sweet salve over Liverpool’s fresh wounds. But confidence cannot drop. Mentally, the team will have to square up to Chelsea with the horrors of that Champions League struggle packed away into tiny boxes and squirreled away.
It’s time to get that belief and optimism churning. Time to make some delicious confidence butter? I’ll allow it.
“For the weekend, it is best for the team to stay positive and keep the momentum we have sort of built over the last few weeks,” Henderson said.
“I’m going to try and pick everyone up, which won’t be easy but I’ll try my best.
“It’s a big game of course and we are three points behind them so it’s a huge game.
“For us, we want to keep that momentum going in the Premier League. We’ve had some good results of late against Southampton and Huddersfield so hopefully we can keep the momentum going, because it is a busy period with lots of games and lots of points up for grabs.”