Henderson hails 'brilliant' Shelvey after England Under-21s win

The 22-year-old lavishes praise on his Liverpool team-mate after he scored and provided an assist as the Three Lions youth edged out Azerbaijan on Thursday evening
England Under-21s captain Jordan Henderson has hailed Jonjo Shelvey following the midfielder's man-of-the-match performance against Azerbaijan.

The 20-year-old provided the cross for Steven Caulker to put the Three Lions ahead before scoring himself to hand Stuart Pearce's side a 2-0 victory on Thursday evening.

And Henderson, who played all 90 minutes of the fixture in Baku, had nothing but praise for his Liverpool team-mate following the win.

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"Jonjo was very good," the midfielder enthused to the FA's official website. "He played just off the striker and got on the ball a lot.

"He made some good passes and played a big part in both of the goals, setting up the first and scoring near the end.

"I thought he was brilliant. He's been like that throughout pre-season at Liverpool, so I hope he can carry on like that."

Henderson went on to express his delight at having sealed a vital three points ahead of Monday's clash with Norway, which will decide whether England must face a play-off to qualify for the European Under-21 Championships in 2013.

"It was a great win to start with in Azerbaijan," he continued. "We played some good stuff and we knew it was going to be difficult, so we were glad to come away with the three points.

"Norway will be a tough test for us, though. We played them once before and we found out how good they are, but hopefully we can continue to play the way we have been playing and get another win to top the group.

"We'll definitely be going into the game to try to win it, and we’ll see what happens after that."

The former Sunderland starlet feels that England could go on to win the tournament, which will be held in Israel in June.

"England teams always have to have ambitions to win tournaments," he claimed. "We have some great players at every level.

"First of all we've got to get to Israel, which would be a great achievement, then when we get out there we'll be determined to do something and go as far as we can.

"Every time you go out and play football you want to do your best and try to impress, it doesn't matter if it's at your club or at international level. It'll be no different on Monday night against Norway."