Europa League final: ‘I don’t expect to start,’ admits Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson

18 May

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson faces an anxious wait to discover whether he will lead out the side in the Europa League final.


The England midfielder returned to action with a 26-minute cameo against West Brom on Sunday after more than five weeks out with a knee ligament injury.

But as Liverpool prepare for their first European final in nine years the 25-year-old thinks he has probably not done enough to force his way back into the line up against defending champions Sevilla in Basle.

“I don’t expect to start,” he admitted.

“I know I’ve been out a long time and I’ve only played 25-30 minutes and when I’ve been injured the teams had done very well and played in some big games to get to the final.

“At the same time I feel good and hopefully have been okay in training and in the game the other day.

“I’m ready to play as long or as little as the manager wants me to.

“The injury has been good. In the last few weeks it has progressed really well, I’ve trained a few times and managed to play at the weekend.

“I don’t know the team. We will probably only find out a few hours before the game as always.

“It’s a huge night for everybody involved and every single player wants to play in it.”

Having lost February’s League Cup final to Manchester City in a penalty shoot-out, Henderson believes the team are ready to deliver silverware.

And he puts that partly down to the way manager Jurgen Klopp has changed the mindset.

“It will be huge for the team, for the fans of the club and for everyone involved,” he added.

“We know it’s a big night but one we are very excited about.

“It’s everything you dream of as a footballer. As a young boy playing in the street with your friends, you dream about playing in European finals.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to win a trophy and we are very capable of doing that.

“We will have a game-plan and what we want to do. We will focus on that and if we can do that and perform to the best of our ability, we will have a very good chance of winning the game.

“We’ve made massive progress. From the start of the season when the manager has come in he has put belief and mentality not only into the players but the fans and the whole club.

“Over the last six or seven months we’ve gone up a level as a team, every single player has gone up a level and now we’re in a European final on the big stage.

“Hopefully we can perform like we have been over the last few months, and if we can do that I’m very confident we can win the game.”

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