Jordan Henderson has explained why the birth of his baby daughter earlier this summer will help him head into the 2013-14 season with an extra sense of maturity.

The midfielder's girlfriend gave birth to their first child, Elexa, six weeks ago and he insists he's relishing the responsibilities that come with being a father.

Now he's hoping to show how much he's grown since joining Liverpool from Sunderland two years ago over the course of the new campaign.

Henderson explained: "It was the best day of my life when she was born and I have enjoyed every minute of being a dad.

"My girlfriend has been brilliant in terms of doing the feeds during the night. It's meant I have still been able to get my sleep and been fresh for training.

"It's another step for me in terms of growing up. Over the past three or four years in the Premier League, first at Sunderland and then my first couple of years here, I feel like I've learnt a lot.

"I have put a lot of work and effort in and now it's my time to go and show people what I'm all about. I feel I am ready now."

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Henderson thrived under the stewardship of Brendan Rodgers last season, turning in a number of outstanding performances in the second half of the season to cement a regular starting place in the first team.

The 23-year-old admits he's feeling much more settled on Merseyside now and is hoping to pick up where he left off when the new term gets underway against Stoke City on Saturday.

"I do feel more comfortable now," said Henderson. "It takes a while to settle into a new club and playing with new players.

"It's only once you're here you realise how big Liverpool is on a worldwide scale. It was definitely a shock at first because the expectations were so high.

"Dealing with the pressure was the hardest thing when I first came but you adapt to that and get used to it.

"I never once doubted myself. I'm very confident in my own ability and you learn from the players around you. Obviously, Stevie has helped me a lot and it's amazing to play with him.

"Even though I struggled at times in certain games during my first year here, I still enjoyed it. I wouldn't say they were dark days and I definitely wouldn't change any of it.

"Last season I just kept my head down, worked hard and when I played I tried to show the manager I deserved to be in the team.

"I think I did that and then the manager stuck with me. I was quite pleased towards the end how it worked out and hopefully I can do it over a full season this time.

"I still have a long way to go to where I want to be, but I definitely believe in what I can achieve at Liverpool. I feel like I'm improving all the time and hopefully I can kick on again."

Liverpool secured a seventh-place finish in the Barclays Premier League last season - but Henderson is confident they can improve upon that this time around.

"It's a big season for the club and for me," he added.

"Towards the end of last season you could see signs we had improved throughout and we went unbeaten for a long time in the second half of it.

"Hopefully we can pick that up again. If we can start well and get some momentum, we can have a really good season. We have to be ready from the off."

Meanwhile, Henderson is tipping Daniel Sturridge to once again shine for Liverpool this season and develop into one of England's leading strikers.

The 23-year-old fired 11 goals in 16 appearances for the Reds after joining from Chelsea in January - and his teammate is confident he can continue in similar fashion.

"Studge has been great since he arrived here," said Henderson.

"He helped our season go on the up when he arrived. Both he and Philippe Coutinho were brilliant players for us in the second half of last season and hopefully they can just continue the way they finished the season.

"Studge is a massive talent. He showed that when he was at Chelsea. He's a great player already but I'm sure he's improving all the time.

"He's got everything to be a top, top player. He has brilliant feet, his first touch and movement are great, his finishing is good, and he has vision as well.

"He has just got to keep working hard and doing the things he has been doing. If he does that he will be a fantastic player for Liverpool and England.

"If he keeps progressing he can be the top-scoring English player in the Premier League."