'Have no regrets' - Jordan Henderson's message for Man City showdown

Interview'Have no regrets' - Jordan Henderson's message for Man City showdown

Published 9th April 2022

Jordan Henderson sees no need for a special rallying cry to his teammates on Sunday but wants Liverpool to 'have no regrets' at the end of their showdown against Manchester City.

The Premier League’s top two lock horns at Etihad Stadium with just a point separating them in the standings with eight fixtures remaining in the season.

Jürgen Klopp’s men are on a 10-game winning streak in the top flight and continue to compete for three more trophies after Henderson lifted the Carabao Cup in February.

The captain’s faith in a squad that has sought and won the highest club honours in recent campaigns means he will stride out with total confidence in their readiness for the challenge at City.

Manchester City v Liverpool: Team news
9th April 2022

MatchManchester City v Liverpool: Team newsJürgen Klopp is hopeful Liverpool have no fitness concerns ahead of Sunday's Premier League visit to Manchester City.

Asked about his role ahead of such significant fixtures, Henderson told Liverpoolfc.com: “There’s times to say things, but, to be honest, I look around and I’ve got full confidence in the team and the players I play with.

“I fully trust them 100 per cent, I know that we’ll have each other’s back when we get out there and we’ll give it absolutely everything. That’s all you can ask for really.

“It’s a pretty special dressing room, full of leaders, full of talent. Hopefully we can keep producing that game by game, not only this weekend but for the rest of the season, the season after and the season after that, and keep going.”

He added: “It’ll be a big game, a tough game, but we just want to go out and make sure we’re ourselves and perform to the levels we’re capable of. If we do that then we can have no regrets.”

Read on for the rest of our pre-City interview with Henderson…

On if he still gets nerves for matches like this…

I wouldn’t say I get nervous every game, but I get excited, shall we say. The adrenaline will be pumping of course. This will be a huge game, we all know that, but we’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing and just give it absolutely everything.

On being a point behind City and whether he would have taken that back in January…

Definitely. It’s a huge game. It’s a big opportunity really, but it’s only an opportunity because of what we’ve done probably since then, over the past few months – how we’ve been performing, how we’ve been playing and the results we’ve picked up. It’s an opportunity that people probably wouldn’t have thought we would have had a few months back. But we’re there and we’ve just got to go out and perform to the best of our ability, and hopefully that’s enough to get a good result at the Etihad.

On the benefit of the squad having experienced huge situations in previous seasons…

It does help. Experience helps. Being together for a while helps, you get to know each other better and trust each other more. Of course that helps, the situations we’ve been in – good and bad – make you more together, make you stronger. We’ve had a few ups and downs along the way and that’s part and parcel of football, we’ve dealt with it together and I think that only makes us stronger.

On the significance of the Reds’ rivalry with City to him and competing with them across multiple competitions…

Yeah, again, I think a lot of people see it like that but for us there are plenty of other teams we need to play along the way, whether that be in the league or the cups, like the semi-final next week, to get us to those points. You’ve got to play a lot of other teams so the focus is on, again, the next game, the next team, which always brings up different challenges, new challenges. Yeah, there’s no getting away [from the fact] that Sunday is a huge challenge. City are a fantastic team, world-class players, world-class manager, and the way they have performed over the last four or five years and what they have achieved is phenomenal really. It’s a big game, a tough one, but still I have full confidence in the team that we can go there and put on a good performance.

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On the two teams pushing each other to the heights they have reached…

When you look at some of the numbers and figures and stuff it is mad, really, because when you’ve got someone challenging you all the time it probably pushes you and keeps you on your toes a lot more. Maybe that’s been the case over the last few years because when a team is finishing on 99, 97, 100 [points], whatever it was City finished on, that’s stuff that hasn’t been done before really. So yeah, I think it adds to the competition, to the head-to-head if you like, but for me I don’t get too caught up in all that, I just concentrate on each game and performing. Of course the media will big this game up, and rightly so, it is a fantastic game. It will be a great game for the neutral I’m sure, but for us it’s business as usual and we go there and try to perform the best we can and try to get a result.

On the head-to-head games being tight in general and what Liverpool did well in the ones they won…

I think we’ve just been ourselves in terms of the way we play. I think if you let City dominate with possession and do everything they want to do then of course it is very difficult. At times you can feel as if you can’t get the ball back and you can’t get near them to get the ball back – it can be very difficult when you let them control the game. But we are a very high-energy, high-intensity team and we want to be on the front foot and we want to cause teams problems and we want the game to be action-packed for the full 90 minutes. I feel as though we’ve done that when we’ve done well against them.

Tactically, we’ve had to change in one or two games as well, which is normal really in the level of this game, tactics come into it. But I think once we’ve adapted, I think we’ve performed well. If you look at the most recent game at Anfield, I thought first half they were brilliant, really tough to get anywhere near to get the ball back. But then we changed one or two things at half-time and then second half I felt was a much, much better performance from us. We were more like ourselves and I think that has been the story so far. But if we can be ourselves and perform the way we know we can then we know we can cause them problems as well.

On the meetings ‘almost feeling like chess’, with Klopp and Pep Guardiola battling it out…

Yeah, I think there’s been tactical changes within games and before games over the last few years that have helped teams, whether that’s been us or them. So, yeah, everything comes into it, but at the end of the day it is whoever performs best on the day and hopefully that’s us on Sunday.

On the title race not being over no matter the result on Sunday…

Obviously if you lose the game it is very difficult. City don’t drop points, to be honest, so it can be very difficult. But if we win, there’s still a long way to go and a lot of points to play for, so it doesn’t really change anything. So, again, yes, we’ll give everything on Sunday but then the season doesn’t end there. There’s still a lot of football, a lot of games, to play and we know that. But full focus on Sunday. We’ll give it everything and see what happens.

Published 9th April 2022