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Jordan Henderson lifts lid on vital behind-scenes role with England after goal vs Ukraine


The Liverpool captain netted his first goal for his country in the demolition of Ukraine in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals

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Jordan Henderson scored his first international goal on Saturday night but then explained his vital role behind the scenes.

Henderson is one of the key leaders in Gareth Southgate’s set-up and has taken it upon himself to help the players who are not seeing much game time.

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With the squad expanded to 26 but 12 players allowed on the bench, Southgate has to disappoint three people on match day.

In Rome on Saturday, it was Ben White, Reece James and Bukayo Saka, although the Arsenal player was believed to have suffered a slight knock.

White and Conor Coady – along with the two back-up keepers, Sam Johnstone and Aaron Ramsdale – have yet to taste a moment’s action in the tournament.

Jordan Henderson celebrates after scoring England’s fourth goal vs Ukraine
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In the immediate aftermath of England’s rout of Ukraine, Southgate paid a special tribute to the fringe players and Henderson has been doing his bit to keep their spirits up.

He explained: “The most important part is how the lads that are not playing as much, but are training the day after games and pushing the lads that are playing, are supporting the lads around the dressing room and the camps.

“You see celebrations when we score the goals, the whole bench is up and that makes the difference on the pitch.

“That’s for everyone to see not only on the pitch but behind the scenes.

“We’ve got a great togetherness and you need that if you are going to be successful.

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“We need that for the short period over the next week but, in terms of going forward long-term, we always need that togetherness.

“I think that’s been really special this time around.

“The three players that miss out on the squad, that can be really difficult mentally, especially when you are away for a long time.

“I try to take as much responsibility as possible to try to make those players feel a part of it.

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“I have to say the training level has been so high even the day after when it is difficult because you haven’t played or haven’t been in the squad.

“Everybody has dug in and pushed each other to be there and be ready if called upon.”

Henderson, 31, himself has yet to start a game but certainly made his presence felt when he came on just before the hour mark in the Stadio Olimpico, heading in Mason Mount’s corner for his first England goal in 62 appearances.

“It was a really special moment,” he said. “I have waited a long time. I suppose to get it in the quarter-final of a European Championship isn’t a bad place to get it. It was an amazing moment.

“I feel fortunate to get on the scoresheet, to get on the pitch and obviously to win the game.”

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Henderson is a leader for England on and off the pitch
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But as the senior player in the squad, Henderson will be making sure thoughts are already on the Wembley semi-final against the Danes.

He said: “It was a fantastic performance against Ukraine but we haven’t achieved anything yet. We need to quickly turn the focus to Denmark on Wednesday night.

“We’ve got momentum, we’re feeling confident, but, at the same time, we’ve got to give Denmark full respect because we know they are a fantastic team.

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“We’ve played them not long ago and we know how difficult it will be.”





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