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We’re a much-improved side from the one beaten by Napoli last term – Henderson

Napoli and Liverpool go head-to-head in the group stages for the second successive campaign.

Jordan Henderson feels Liverpool have improved since last season’s defeat at Napoli (Adam Davy/PA)
Jordan Henderson feels Liverpool have improved since last season’s defeat at Napoli (Adam Davy/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

Skipper Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool have “improved a lot” since last season’s defeat to Napoli.

The two teams go head-to-head in the group stages of the Champions League for the second successive campaign.

The Reds were beaten 1-0 at San Paolo Stadium last October, with Lorenzo Insigne scoring a last-minute winner.

Henderson admits that result hurt the Liverpool squad and felt it played a part in them going on to lift the trophy.

He said: “When we came here last year we didn’t perform very well, at all, I’m sure the manager will tell you that.

“I can remember analysis after that game and I think we improved a lot since that game and we used that game to improve a lot.

“Hopefully tomorrow night will be a different story, the performance level is much better and if that’s the case then we have a better chance to win of course.

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Liverpool went on to win the Champions League (Mike Egerton/PA)

“It will still be a tough challenge because Napoli are a good side.”

When asked if he feels Liverpool are a different proposition for Napoli this term, boss Jurgen Klopp said: “Last year we learned from the first game and we used that experience in the second game (a 1-0 win for Liverpool).

“If you don’t defend with all you have you have no chance against Napoli. They are so strong, I really like watching them.

“Am I sure something like that cannot happen again? No, of course not, but the boys give me no signs that I can doubt them but it’s still football, we’re human beings and things like this can happen.

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Jurgen Klopp wants to see an improved performance from his side in Naples (Anthony Devlin/PA)

“We will try to reach the level of last year again…but we want to be as consistent, at least, as last year but play our football of this year.

“Use the skills, use the confidence when it’s there, get it back when it’s not there. Use the momentum when it’s there, get it back when it’s not there, stuff like this. Stay in the game, fight for everything.

“Improvement we will judge at the end of the season.”

Rhian Brewster has been included in the Liverpool squad for the game and Henderson believes the 19-year-old striker deserves the opportunity.

“He had a really good pre-season and has been really strong in training,” said the England international.

“He gives us another option. We’ve got a lot of strength in the squad but he’s been doing really well and he just needs to continue in that way.”

PA

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