Henderson determined to prove worth at Liverpool

The England international is frustrated by the lack of opportunities at Anfield so far this season, but is aiming to make the most of any chances he does get
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson is prepared to be patient and prove he is not a big-money flop at Anfield.

The 22-year-old, who was a member of Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 England squad in the summer, arrived from Sunderland ahead of the 2011-12 with a hefty £16 million price tag as the then-Reds manager Kenny Dalglish spent big in an attempt to bring Champions League football back to the red half of Merseyside.

The Reds, however, fell some way short of that target, and Dalglish was replaced by Brendan Rodgers, where subsequently Henderson has found himself out of favour as the Northern Irishman attempts to revive the Reds’ fortunes.

Despite the lack of minutes, the England international was quick to dismiss suggestions that he has been written off.

"From the outside it probably looks like that because of how much I played last year and this season I haven't started a Premier League game," Henderson told the Press Association.

"But I am coming into training every day, working hard and learning all the things I need to learn and I will continue to learn the game as the manager keeps telling me.

"I am very focused on what I need to do and it doesn't make a difference what anyone else thinks. I want my future to be at Liverpool. I'll give everything every day to make sure that happens.

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"It is hard. It is not easy to think long term, especially when I've played a lot of games in the Premier League considering my age.

"Now I'm 22 and I'm not playing as regularly as I would like to but, then again, I have got to take on board what the people are saying around me to try to improve myself as a player.

"I definitely think in the future, given the opportunity I will take it and become a first-team regular for Liverpool."

Henderson's move to Anfield has not been the smoothest as, even when he was playing regularly under Dalglish, it was rarely in his preferred central role.

Henderson is expected to start tomorrow as the Europa League Group A leaders face Anzhi Makhachkala, and with manager Rodgers leaving Steven Gerrard, Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin all at home, it is likely to come in his favoured central position.

"It is hard when you don't play but you have to continue to work hard and fight for your place every day - and it's not been all bad for me," the England under-21 international added.

"I have still played a few games here and there - Europa League and Capital One Cup - and I've been getting games for the under-21s as well,

"Obviously I want to be playing games in the Premier League but if I keep putting in good performances I am sure my chance will come sometime soon and it is up to me to take it.

"When you are a young player you just want to play football, it doesn't matter what position you play in really - as long as you are on the pitch nothing else matters.

"On a personal level I want to play in the middle and show what I can do in my preferred position but as long as you are in the starting 11 you can only do your best.

"I am improving as a player and I've learned a lot since the new manager came in and he's helped with different things in my game.

Henderson added: "Obviously people like Steven Gerrard help you along the way but it is up to you to make sure you are focused and can work hard every single day.

"This is a massive opportunity for me to give the manager food for thought, stand up and be counted and show that I am fighting and I want to play in every game I can."