Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Henderson: Gerrard deserves title

Jordan Henderson, right, says Steven Gerrard, left, deserves to win the title

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson admits nothing would give him greater pleasure than helping captain Steven Gerrard end his long wait for a Premier League title.

A domestic championship is the only gap in the 33-year-old's trophy CV, but this season he is as close as ever to ending that drought.

Henderson admits the squad are having to keep their title dreams in check, but does not hide from the fact every player dreams of topping the table.

"He was brilliant for us against Sunderland (in their 2-1 midweek win) and if anyone deserves a league title it is him," said the England international.

"We have all dreamed of winning the Premier League title and no-one deserves it more than him.

"We are doing it for ourselves, our families, the fans, the club and for him as well.

"Obviously we are dreaming and believing because all you want to do as a footballer is win the Premier League, that is one of your dreams."

Manager Brendan Rodgers has worked hard to minimise the pressure and expectation on his side, but as the games tick down and the Reds remain within touching distance of leaders Chelsea, the focus on Anfield intensifies.

"You have to not listen to the news or read papers and just concentrate on your football, enjoy going into training and working hard. And we have been doing that all season, so there is no reason to change it and it is in our routine now," added Henderson.

"A lot of people are going to talk, dream and believe outside the club and that's fine.

"We can dream but at the same time we have to keep our feet on the ground.

"I don't think we can look too far into the future, we have to focus on the next game and take it as it comes.

"We have always got to believe, especially with it being so tight.

"We have seven big games left and Tottenham is our main focus.

"We have to win every game, I don't think there is any room for slip-ups.

"All season we have felt we could go into games and win and so we have to do the same for the last seven games."

Tottenham visit Anfield on Sunday looking to avenge a 5-0 thrashing at White Hart Lane, a result which made the rest of the Premier League sit up and take notice of what was emerging from the red half of Merseyside.

The Reds' last outing was a less-spectacular 2-1 victory over Sunderland in midweek and Henderson stressed not every match was going to be plain sailing - especially with title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City still to come at home.

"City and Chelsea are big games but Tottenham is just as big as those because they will come here and make it difficult because they are a good team," Henderson said.

"We had to dig it out and grind a result against Sunderland, but I felt we did very well throughout the game, dominated possession, hit the crossbar and had one or two chances.

"We were disappointed to concede from a set-piece and made it difficult for ourselves at the end, but we dug in and managed to get over the line.

"There is always going to be big expectations here because it is a massive club, but we have dealt with that brilliantly throughout the season and that is not the reason we conceded the goal.

"People will expect big things but we have to focus on each game as it comes and keep putting in good performances and working well together, that is our main aim."

Liverpool's win at White Hart Lane in December had the feeling of a landmark result, but Henderson said it just reinforced their confidence in the work they had been doing all season.

"I thought we were fantastic on the day at White Hart Lane but they will come looking for revenge after getting a good win at the weekend against Southampton which will have improved their confidence.

"I felt as though we had played well all the way through up till that game.

"But that game, from the outside, people looked at it and thought 'Wow'.

"I thought we played just as well in other games but when you win 5-0 at Tottenham that stands out and it gives you confidence."

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