Gareth Southgate defends Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson after Roy Keane comments

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England manager Gareth Southgate has moved to defend Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson after former Manchester United player Roy Keane criticised the midfielder.

The 30-year-old has been selected to travel with the Three Lions this summer to the Euros, but has come under criticism for agreeing to go with the squad.

Both Gabriel Agbonlahor and Keane have suggested Henderson should not have a place in the England squad because he’s been out of action for four months.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson made his return to fitness last night, playing 45 minutes for England against Romania

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Addressing the media after England 1-0 win over Romania, Southgate indirectly responded to criticism of the decision to include Henderson in his squad.

We are not distracted by anything,” the England boss said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo. “We know the situation Hendo is in, he’s been a very positive influence around the camp with the group.

“It’s a step forward for him physically today which was important for him to be able to play some sort of part in the tournament and we are realistic about what that could be.

It’s not a situation where it’s dividing the group or it’s unrealistic what’s possible.

We’re not hanging our hat on him being fit and if we can get him to a good level then that’s a bonus. We’ve got 26 players which hasn’t been the case before.”

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