Liverpool's Champions League track record gives them confidence they can overcome Bayern Munich in the last 16, according to Jordan Henderson.
After finishing as runners-up last season, the Reds kick off another adventure in the knockout stages when they host the Bundesliga title-holders at Anfield tonight.
Henderson spoke to Liverpoolfc.com ahead of the game about Liverpool’s approach to the encounter, balancing respect for the visitors with their own self-assurance, and the progress of the versatile Fabinho…
You had a good week’s training in Marbella last week – is this the start of a sprint now until May?
We’ve still got a few months to go but, yes, it’s the last third of the season and that’s why Marbella was important, to not only prepare for this game but prepare for the next few months. It was a good training week, good preparation for this game. We’re all looking forward to it.
Inside Training at Liverpool's Marbella camp last week
All your focus is on this game but there’s Manchester United to come as well at the weekend. Do these weeks still have a different feeling?
This is a big game and that’s all our focus is on really. It’s a massive game here at Anfield against a top team. That’s all we can focus on because if you don’t put your full attention on it, you’ll get punished. The full focus is on this game and then after, we can turn our attentions to United. Until then we’ll just focus on giving everything to get a result to go to Germany.
How much of Bayern do you get to watch during a season?
Now and again you can see them on TV, whether that’s in the Bundesliga or the Champions League. We’ve got a good idea on how good they are and the way they like to play. It’s up to us to try to stop that and play the way we can. If we do that, I think we can cause them problems.
What’s the balance between confidence and respect?
There has always got to be respect for the opponent, no matter who it is, which there is. But when you’re on the pitch it’s 11v11 and we’re confident in the players we’ve got, the team we’ve got, that we can hurt anyone really. I think we have shown that over the last year or so, if not longer. Now we need to keep believing and keep improving. If we do that, hopefully something good will come very soon.
Fabinho might be used at centre-back – how impressed have you been with his progress and the way he has dealt with changing positions?
Fab has done really well over the last few months, he has settled in and his performances have been really consistent in the different positions he has played. That has been important for us. If he plays there tonight, hopefully he can keep playing well. I’ve got all the confidence in the world he can do that because he is a top player. But, at the same time, it’s about defending as a team, it’s not relying on two centre-halves or the back four, it’s the full team. We need to help each other out in defending all the time.