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Henderson’s Critical Role in the Race for Fourth

The captain’s been out for three months, but his presence is still crucial, says Adam Lallana.

Hull City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

The captain may have been sidelined on Sunday’s 3-0 victory against Middlesbrough, but his role in Liverpool’s push for a fourth-place finish this season has been palpable. Adam Lallana sat down with the Liverpool Echo to talk about Jordan Henderson and captaining-in-absentia since February.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with Jordan over the past three months since he’s been out and his spirits have been remarkably high, considering how unfortunate the timing was and how much football he’s missed,” Lallana told the Echo before the Boro game. “It’s been difficult for him, but he’s still had duties as a captain and he’s been superb. He’s not shown that disappointment, he just wanted to ensure that all the lads are all right.”

“To have him around Melwood and at every home game has been great. He has got that presence and aura that certain captains have,” Lallana added. “He’s a man of few words off the pitch but when he speaks, you listen. It was the same with [Gerrard].”

Henderson’s words carried through to matchday on Sunday, too. He rallied everyone from team to supporters in his pre-match programme notes.

“A season that started so positively could end in the same way, as long as we have our attitude and approach right this afternoon,” Henderson wrote.

“I think that applies to all of us: players who start, those in the squad, those not on the teamsheet, staff and of course the supporters. Everyone has a part to play today to make sure we create the right feeling around the squad and in the stadium.”

Liverpool achieved what they set out to at the beginning of the season, and it’s clear that their captain was with them every step of the way.

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