Liverpool vs Aston Villa: Jordan Henderson feels he's 'matured' at Liverpool and has learnt to handle pressure

The England midfielder was criticised following his £16m move to Anfield but has flourished under Brendan Roders to prove the doubters wrong

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The Independent Online

Midfielder Jordan Henderson believes his experiences at Liverpool have helped him handle pressure better.

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The 24-year-old took time to settle following his £16million move from Sunderland and at the start of his third season he was offered to Fulham as a makeweight in a failed deal for Clint Dempsey.

Henderson rejected the move and his decision has been fully justified as he has been one of the Reds' most consistent performers over the last 12 months, becoming an England regular in the process.

He suffered early on at Anfield from not having a settled position and that led to criticism being directed at him but Henderson has put that well behind him now.

 

"There is always going to be pressure because Liverpool is a big club," he said.

"Everybody expects us to do well, especially with how we did last season (finishing second) so you have to deal with pressure when you're a footballer.

"Everybody loves that pressure because it means you are doing something right and people are expecting you to do well.

"You have to put the pressure on yourself when you go out and perform and you have to give 100 per cent and just give your best every time.

"Personally I feel as though I've been through a lot over the last few years.

"I feel as though I have matured a lot and I can deal with it in my own way. I can do more things.

"The more pressure, the more I like it. I think that will be the same for quite a lot of the lads as well."

Rodgers has strengthened his squad considerably to cope with the additional demands of the Champions League and believes they will gel together quickly.

"We have had a great window. There has been a lot of work which has gone into it," he said.

"Look at Alberto Moreno's performance at Tottenham, in only his second game, and Javier Manquillo has settled in for such a young player.

"Adam Lallana (who could make his debut against Aston Villa later today) will go on and show his qualities, Emre Can was unfortunate (to get injured on international duty) as he was just starting to find his feet and get his fitness so that is a disappointment he is out.

"Rickie Lambert settled in really well and Dejan Lovren has come in and been fantastic.

"The players we have brought in, I have been pleased because we were specific in the types we were bringing in."

PA

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