Jordan Henderson is insistent Liverpool will not be affected by the Champions League final defeat when they start the season. Liverpool lost May’s final 1-0 to Real Madrid in Paris. This compounded the disappointment of finishing second to Manchester City by a point in the Premier League.
Liverpool did claim the League Cup and FA Cup and Henderson dismissed there being any lingering effect from last season’s final match. “We have had disappointments in the past and didn’t have hangovers so we have always reacted in the right way,” the captain said. “We still won two trophies last year so it’s not all negative.
“It was a fantastic season. Yes, it didn’t end the way we would have liked but that’s football, that’s life, you get on with it and react in the right way and we just want to go again, to perform. I wouldn’t say it [the disappointment] has made us more motivated but you are always motivated to win the biggest trophies.”
Henderson does not believe the title will again be between Liverpool and City. “Other teams strengthen,” he said. “You look at Chelsea, they are strengthening, United will strengthen, Spurs will strengthen – they have done so quite a lot so far. You look at other teams who are also going to strengthen.
“Yes, we have bought some new players and hopefully they can help us going forward and freshen things up but we have to keep doing what we have been doing for a large period of time, concentrate on what we can do and perform to the levels we are capable of.
“We are constantly working to improve; we can’t worry about other people [teams] around us – that’s not in your control.”
Henderson was speaking after Monday’s training session at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium, where Liverpool meet Manchester United on Tuesday. Darwin Núñez limped out of the session with a foot problem but Liverpool’s £64m summer acquisition is not thought to be a concern.
Henderson believes the 6ft 1in forward’s style will offer Liverpool a more direct option. “He certainly gives us a different dimension in the way he plays. Bobby [Firmino] is a big plus coming back from injury last season – we’ve got very good options.”
Henderson accepted Sadio Mané moving to Bayern Munich was a setback. “Any team that loses Sadio, it will be a big blow because he is one of the best forwards in the world,” said Henderson. “At the same time, we’ve got world-class players, especially in the forward line: Luis Díaz, who performed phenomenally well [last season]; Darwin coming in; Bobby’s coming back. Things move on, change – hopefully we can adapt to that quickly.”