Henderson delighted with Liverpool reaction after January slump

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Jordan Henderson's decision to call a clear-the-air team meeting sparked a reaction from the Reds against Spurs and he wants them to continue fighting

If there is one overarching rule at Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, it is ‘everyone is responsible for everything.’

It is why it was unsurprising to learn that as the manager and his backroom staff were preparing for Tottenham's visit to Anfield this past Saturday, Jordan Henderson rounded up the squad for a candid discussion to help steer the club back on course. 

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The captain knew it was not the sole preserve of the coaching staff to come up with solutions for their beggarly form in 2017, which saw Swansea, Southampton, Wolves and Hull better Liverpool in quick succession.

HD Jordan Henderson

With the Merseysiders’ only triumph in the first 10 fixtures of 2017 coming in an FA Cup replay at Plymouth Argyle, Henderson encouraged every teammate to air their honest thoughts on the malaise, as well as offer advice on remedying the situation.

The meeting, held in the dressing room at Melwood two days prior to the showdown with Spurs, reminded the squad of their responsibilities to each other, the club, the technical team and to the supporters.

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The words were translated into action against Tottenham over the weekend; the 2-0 victory leading Mauricio Pochettino to admit his charges could not combat Liverpool’s intensity, nor match their desire and focus.

“You’ve got to stick together,"  Henderson reiterated after the Reds finally broke their league duck for the year.

"It’s a tough time when you haven’t won for so long and the performance level hasn’t been up to standard, but you’ve got to keep fighting and keep believing.

"I felt we’ve done that. As players, we take responsibility. We felt as though we’ve let ourselves down, the manager down and the fans down. 

“To put in that performance doesn’t make up for it, but it’s a start and a step in the right direction. 

HD Jordan Henderson v Tottenham

“I feel as though we’ve always had confidence, we’ve always had belief. The performances in recent weeks haven’t been up to the standard that we’ve set ourselves and we’ve been punished really. 

“To then perform like we did, I think everyone stood up and showed great character and put in a solid performance to get a good result. 

“Now, we just have to make sure we do it consistently until the end of the season.”

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For Henderson, the most applaudable aspect of the win was not Liverpool's attacking swagger in the opening 30 minutes, but the smarts they applied to strangle the game after the interval.

He explained: “The most pleasing thing I think was the second half - how we were solid and took the sting out of the game.

"We did a lot of good things without the ball as well as with it.

“Simon [Mignolet] made a brilliant save which kept us at 2-0 so that was a crucial moment, but overall I thought we defended well as a team and attacked well as a team in a strong performance.

HD Sadio Mane Coutinho Lallana Firmino Liverpool celebrate

“We created some good chances early on. Sadio [Mane] was brilliant! They couldn’t live with his pace in behind, supported by Roberto [Firmino] and Phil [Coutinho]. 

“The intensity and work rate was everything we wanted. We had a good week of training leading into it and I think we put everything from those sessions into the game. It worked perfectly. 

“From start to finish we were very good. We need to make sure we do that every week.”

Given Liverpool's dominance against the top six, but difficulties against those closer to the bottom of the league, the England international was asked whether the problem could be put down to a mindset issue or complacency.

“I wouldn’t question the attitude of the players, the attitude is good throughout the squad,” Henderson insisted.

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“There is one or two things that we do need to work on that we did this week in training that can help us going forward. 

“Like I said, I felt that everyone stayed together and worked hard. 

“I believe we have fantastic quality in the team, great mentality, great character. It’s not good me just saying that though, it’s up to us to show that from now to the end of the season.”

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