Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has admitted it will be strange to face his former club Sunderland on the opening day of the Premier League season, but that he is looking forward to the challenge of playing for the Anfield club.
Henderson was bought for around £16 million by Liverpool, and he is hopeful that Sunderland’s subsequent spending spree will mean he avoids being booed by the Black Cats fans.
He told The Independent: "I've got good friends there still.
"I'm looking forward to the game and hopefully it's a good day for Liverpool.
“It might be a bit strange but I've got a job to do for Liverpool now."
Henderson also spoke of his excitement at working with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, and believes that it is up to him to keep improving as a footballer and learning from those around him.
He added: "He [Gerrard] has been one of the best players in the world for many years.
“It will be great to train and play alongside him.
“I don't model myself on him or anyone.
“I try and do my own thing on the pitch and will look to keep going in the right direction.
"I've got to do what I did at Sunderland which brought me here – to keep improving and working hard.”
Henderson is also hopeful of avoiding any abuse from the Sunderland fans, particularly after being such a good servant to the club and in view of the signings the club were able to make because of his large transfer fee.
He added: "I had a great time there and the fans were brilliant with me.
“I don't see any reason why that would change."