Jordan Henderson wants to build on long-awaited Liverpool goal

Henderson scored winner against Udinese

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson admits his lack of goals had been preying on his mind but hopes the confidence gained from his crucial Europa League winner will be reflected in future performances.

The 22-year-old struck midway through the second half against 10-man Udinese when he drove a pass from Suso under the body of goalkeeper Daniele Padelli.

With rivals Young Boys beating Anzhi that strike was the difference between Liverpool going through to the last 32 and getting knocked out.

And after a difficult few months on the fringes of the team Henderson believes only his third goal in 65 appearances since his £16million move from Sunderland is just the tonic he needed.

"It is always nice to get goals and it was a good moment for me to score," he said.

"I have missed a few good chances in games so it was nice to put one away and hopefully I can keep scoring from now on.

"I have always tried to improve my goalscoring. Even when I've been getting good chances of late I've not put them away so I started to think I need to score and I've managed to do that so I'm happy.

"I think if you score goals then it does give you more confidence.

"You have to keep working hard, keep doing the things you have been doing and it will pay off in the end.

"It is always nice, no matter what type of goal or when it is, to score goals personally and for the team.

"I think everyone is delighted with the performance and the result and for me, personally, I am delighted with the goal."

Progression to the last 32 could have been snatched away with the final kick of the game, however, as veteran forward Daniel di Natale fired over the crossbar.

That would have been harsh on a Liverpool side who, despite manager Brendan Rodgers' decision to field weakened teams throughout the competition, have grown over the months.

It could hardly be called a classic European away display as Udinese, who had Giovanni Pasquale sent off for a second bookable offence with 11 minutes to go, had too many chances but it was enough to guarantee involvement after Christmas.

"I think overall we are pleased with the performance," added Henderson.

"We went into the game knowing we had to win to go through and that is what we managed to do and everyone is pleased with the outcome.

"We managed the game well and towards the second half we kept the ball quite well and we are delighted with the win.

"I think we deserved to win the game and go through. They had one or two chances and Di Natale had a good one at the end but fortunately for us it went over the crossbar.

"I think we are going from strength to strength every week and we are improving.

"It is important for Liverpool to be involved in the knockout stages of European competition.

"When February comes (and the competition restarts) we will have improved a hell of a lot and we can kick on from there but our main focus now is Sunday against West Ham.

"Hopefully the win will give everyone confidence going into that game."

Liverpool's pre-match preparations for the Hammers clash were disrupted slightly when they were unexpectedly forced to stay overnight in Italy.

The team were scheduled to fly back to Liverpool last night but a problem with their plane meant they were unable to take off and they had to spend the night in a hotel.

Coaching staff tried as best they could to keep the post-match routine to which the players were accustomed and Press Association Sport understands they undertook a pool recovery session this morning ahead of their return flight which is expected to see them arrive back mid-afternoon.

The team are due to travel to London tomorrow.

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most