Jordan Henderson has urged his teammates to forget about their last meeting with Stoke City and concentrate fully on today’s game. Henderson was part of the team beaten 6-1 by the same opposition back in May, and while he admits that he’s determined to put things right today, he says that game is in the past.
“It’s about forgetting about that game and concentrating on what we want to achieve this season,” he said, in quotes taken by our official website.
“We’ve got new players, a new team and it’s a new start, so we’ve just got to put that to the back of our minds and focus on this season. We want to start well and positively, and it’ll be a big test for us going to Stoke because they’re a good team and it’s a hard place to go. But if we can go there and show what we’ve shown in pre-season, I think we can get a good result.”
Today will mark the first Premier League fixture for Henderson as Liverpool’s official captain and he is determined to get off to the best possible start at the Britannia Stadium. Having won five and drawn one of six pre-season games since being handed the armband, he has a fine record to maintain.
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He says that he knows keeping his teammates in a positive mindset is crucial, but doesn’t expect there to be any hangover from last season’s result, particularly with so many new player having now joined our ranks.
“I think it is part of my job – especially taking the responsibility on of making sure we’re going onto the pitch in a positive frame of mind,” he continued. “But again, the players that have come in weren’t there last season, so that shouldn’t be a problem. We’re professionals and we’ve just got to go there and do our job properly.
“We’ve got to focus on the positives, keep pushing to try and win as many games as possible and start well.”
Henderson knows how important a strong start to the season could be. He was part of the side that won three consecutive games to start the 2013-14 campaign, all by a score of 1-0, and we’d go on to finish that year in second place in the Premier League.
“It’s really important,” he said. “The start is vital because it can give you the momentum to start building into the midway point of the season. If you can get early momentum with a good start, it gives you an advantage.
“Every team will want to start well. You’ve got to make sure you’re giving everything and if you’re doing that, it’s all you can ask for. We’ve got some good games at the start of the season and if we can get some good results, it’ll stand us in good stead for the rest of the season.”
As for the new signings, the skipper is confident that they can inspire us to an excellent season. Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings and Christian Benteke have all come in – and could all play some part in the Potteries this afternoon.
“I believe it can be a very big season for us – very successful – because of the players we’ve got,” he added. “But at the same time, it’s no good me just sitting here and saying that – we’ve got to make sure we’re doing the work behind the scenes in training and then putting that out on the pitch and doing the business.
“We’ll have to do our talking on the pitch and if we do that, then hopefully come the end of the season it’ll have been a successful one.”