Henderson’s message of hope

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson
Liverpool's Jordan Henderson
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Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has urged his team-mates to use their disappointment at Newcastle over the weekend as extra motivation for a daunting double.

he Merseysiders lost 1-0 at St James’ Park as their lack of cutting edge without the departed Luis Suarez and the injured Daniel Sturridge was exposed once again.

However, they have little time to lick their wounds with a Champions League trip to Real Madrid looming on Tuesday evening ahead of Saturday’s visit of Premier League leaders Chelsea to Anfield.

Henderson said: “They are two big games, two games to show that we can score goals and defend better. We’ll look forward to that still. We’ll work hard during the week and put in two good performances, hopefully, against two top teams.”

That, however, may be easier said than done.

Kop boss Brendan Rodgers admitted that “80 per cent” of last season’s goals had been taken out of his team with the absence of SAS double-act, Suarez and Sturridge.

Liverpool enjoyed plenty of possession at St James’, particularly as midfield general Steven Gerrard worked his way gradually higher up the pitch as the game wore on.

However, with Mario Balotelli static and Raheem Sterling ineffective, home goalkeeper Tim Krul had little of note to do.

Henderson said: “It was very disappointing. We came here for confidence and to get a result and we didn’t manage to do that, so we’re very disappointed.

“We were dominating the game through possession, but it was just getting into that final third and creating an opening.

“We struggled with that, so we’ll have to improve on that and kick on for the next game.”

That next game – Real at the Bernabeu Stadium – could hardly be any more difficult, with the Spaniards having won 3-0 on Merseyside on October 22, and clear-cut chances are likely to be even more difficult to come by.