Henderson pleased by Reds intensity

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Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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Liverpool vice-captain Jordan Henderson believes a return to their high-intensity game will start to produce results.

The Reds have rediscovered the up-tempo tactics which proved so successful last season and, while the 2-2 draw against Arsenal earned only a point, it signified much more to the players.

Shorn of the pace of Daniel Sturridge, who is not due to return from injury which has kept him out since August 31 until next month, Liverpool have lacked a spark going forward.

After manager Brendan Rodgers tried a number of permutations, the positioning of Raheem Sterling as a nominal centre-forward, even though it is an unfamiliar position, has helped reintroduce the fast pace which destroyed so many sides on the way to a second-place Barclays Premier League finish in May.

Liverpool enjoyed two-thirds of the possession against a Gunners side famed for their use of the ball and, while they did not take full advantage, Henderson said the players had noticed a difference.

“The overall feeling with everyone is much better,” he said.

“The intensity is there in getting the ball back, pressurising high up the pitch to get it back and the passing and moving forward and penetration was good so hopefully we can carry that on and pick up more points.

“The performance level is getting better and back to the level we know we can play at, with the intensity returning and everyone working to get the ball back and getting forward we are having real penetration behind.

“It has been frustrating at times that we have created so many chances but at the same time it is pleasing our performance levels are much better.

“We just need to back that up with results.”

Martin Skrtel’s equaliser in the seventh of nine added minutes secured a point at Anfield on Sunday and showed not all the resilience had been knocked out of the side after a number of inconsistent displays this season.

Defeat after another performance of numerous chances, having lost 3-0 at Old Trafford the previous week playing the same way, would have been tough to take so the Slovakia international’s header was actually more important in a wider context.

“It would have been devastating to get beat but it was a great ball in by Adam (Lallana) and a great finish by Martin,” added Henderson.

“I felt the performance was good, it has been much better over the last few weeks.

“We dominated with the ball and created chances. It is good we got a point in the end but I thought we deserved three.

“We have to keep the performance level like that and results will come. Hopefully we can keep building on it.

“The aim is to keep improving and results will follow. People like Sturridge coming back will really give us a lift.”

Arsenal had just three shots on target, having scored from their first two, but looking at the game as a whole they were fortunate to leave with a draw.

It did little for either side’s league position – Arsenal are sixth, Liverpool 10th – and midfielder Mathieu Flamini admits they have enough quality to be able to raise themselves higher.

“It is a point we are happy to take but if anything we are a bit frustrated because we had the possibility to win the game,” he said.

“We did everything right up to the 97th minute but conceded at the end.

“Of course we want to fight for the top places. We have ambition and we have so much quality in the team.”

Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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