Now not the time to let standards slip, says Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson

Now not the time to let standards slip, says Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson

The Liverpool captain has urged his teammates to maintain their standards to reach their targets this season.

Ninad Barbadikar

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has sent out a warning to his teammates to keep up their standards otherwise they risk losing their chances of qualification for next season's Champions League.

Henderson expressed his delight at the Reds'  excellent victory against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, a 2-0 win that went a long way in restoring the faith and the momentum within the side.

Henderson highlights desire to make amends

Jürgen Klopp's men have had to endure a miserable start to 2017 as they failed to win in their first five matches of the new year in the Premier League. 

The Reds were also knocked out of the FA Cup and the EFL Cup, which made matters even worse as their season threatened to fall apart at the seams.

However, against Spurs, Liverpool discovered the form of their former selves once again as Sadio Mané scored an early first-half brace to secure a vital three points again their top-four rivals.

After the defeat against Hull City earlier this month, Henderson spoke about how there was a collective desire to make amends in the team as they fell to a 2-0 defeat in a miserable day at the KC Stadium.

Henderson said that as the players, they took "responsibility" as they felt that they let themselves down, the manager down and the fans down too.

The Liverpool captain said that the team needs to "stick together." He said: "It was a tough time because we knew we hadn't won for so long and performance levels were not up to standard. But you have got to stay together and keep fighting and believing and we did that."

He acknowledged that the victory against Tottenham does not make up for it but says that "it is a start and a step in the right direction", adding: "Now we have to build on that and keep going."

Spurs performance was positive says Henderson

Speaking with regard to the game against Spurs, the Liverpool captain believed that the performance was "definitely positive." He highlighted the team's performance in the second-half and lauded the manner in which the Reds "took the sting out of the game" and also did a "a lot of good things" off-the-ball.

He continued: "Overall I felt we defended well as a team and attacked well as a team. We have fantastic quality in the team, great mentality and great character, but it is no good me just saying that."

Henderson acknowledged that the team has to keep delivering from now until the end of the season and to keep "putting in" performances like that.

Liverpool's attack has found its old rhythm and swagger of late. The likes of Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, Phillippe Coutinho and Manè have all found their form once again as the Reds aim to improve on a disastrous start to 2017.

That front-four was responsible for much of the attacking play that Liverpool imposed on the Spurs defence and their efforts were rightly appreciated by their captain.

Henderson added: "Sadio was brilliant. We created some really good chances early on. They couldn't live with his pace in behind. With Roberto and Philippe too, the intensity was there. We had a good week's training leading in and I thought we put everything we had worked on in training into the game and it worked perfectly."

Complacency isn't an issue according to Henderson

With victory against Spurs, Liverpool extended their unbeaten record against their top-six rivals.

Yet the Merseyside outfit have dropped points against lesser teams which has been more frustrating for them. Losing matches against the likes of Swansea City, Burnley, Hull City has cost Klopp's side valuable points.

However, Henderson doesn't believe that complacency is an issue for the Reds in the games against the lower teams and goes on to say that he "wouldn't question" the attitude of the players, adding that their mentality is "very good."

He acknowledged the shortcomings of the players and said that there were "one or two things" that the team needed to "work on" during the week in training to help the side "going forward."

Speaking again about the defeat to Hull, Henderson said that the first-half was "disappointing." He added: "You have a lot of possession in those games and sometimes you get caught on the counter-attack and we maybe switch off a little bit."

However against Spurs, Liverpool were much more solid and Henderson underlined the team's efforts and said: "Against Spurs we were very solid from start to finish. We need to make sure we're like that every week."

Henderson expressed that the team has "always had belief" but admitted that the performances over recent week haven't been "up to the standard" the team has set themselves and that they have been "punished."

He reiterated that the win over Spurs serves as a good springboard for the rest of the campaign, declaring: "I thought everyone showed great character against Tottenham and now we have to make sure we are consistent with it. To win like we did was very pleasing and it will give everyone a big lift."