Under-fire Jordan Henderson to push for England place

 

Jordan Henderson has vowed to ignore his critics and push for a recall to the England squad.

Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce takes charge of the senior squad against Holland tomorrow night and called upon the familiar face of Fraizer Campbell, who is set for his debut, while overlooking Henderson, whose performances have come under fire since his £20million move to Liverpool in the summer.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who will captain the Under-21s against Belgium in Middlesbrough, was part of the Liverpool side that needed penalties to see off Cardiff in the Carling Cup on Sunday, but was brought off just before the hour mark after failing to make an impact.

While Henderson admits there is "room for improvement", he is not listening to those who say he is unworthy of his hefty price tag.

"I don't really worry what other people think, they're entitled to their opinion," he said. "I'm focused on what I want to achieve.

"I want to get back in the senior squad as soon as I can but for now I make sure I play well for the Under-21s and for Liverpool every week.

"Of course there's a lot of room for improvement, but I'm working on it every day in training and I'm focused on what I need to do. I know what I need to do and I'm going to do everything I can to get where I want to be."

Henderson, who earned his only England cap in November 2010 against France, revealed he contacted Pearce in the wake of the squad announcement, but not about his own omission.

"I sent him a text to wish him all the best and I do wish him all the best," he said.

"I don't think it was on my mind, to be honest," he added of a senior call-up. "I knew we had an important game on Wednesday with the Under-21s and I was focused on that.

"Obviously everyone wants to play in the senior team, and I'm no different. But this is a big game for the 21s, I'm captain and I'm looking forward to it."

With Pearce away, Brian Eastick will take charge of the Under-21s.

And Henderson insists it has been business as usual even without 'Psycho' around.

"It hasn't been much different to be honest," he said. "Obviously Stuart is a great role model to people but we're professionals and we can do it ourselves. Brian's been around for every game I can remember so it's not much different."

PA

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