Euro 2016: Jordan Henderson lays blame on misfiring England strikers

Liverpool midfielder says creativity is not the problem, finishing is

Matt Gatward
Tuesday 21 June 2016 22:33
Jordan Henderson believes England's luck will change in front of goal
Jordan Henderson believes England's luck will change in front of goal

Jordan Henderson does not believe creativity is England's problem during these Euros, just a lack of killer instinct in front of goal. The statistics would back the Liverpool midfielder up, with Roy Hodgson's side having 29 attempts at goal during the 0-0 draw with Slovakia - with no success.

“For 90 minutes we dominated with the ball,” Henderson said. “I still feel we created some good chances to win the game but we just couldn’t quite finish them off and get the ball in the back of the net. It’s certainly something we need to improve on. For the complete performance [we need to improve], definitely, in front of goal. We’re creating chances. We just need to finish teams off. At some point we will win by two or three nil but we just need to improve in that final third.

“When teams have sat in against us we’ve struggled to find the net. But we’ve got enough quality in the team. We need to make sure that in the games coming up we finish teams off properly.”

But Henderson refused to be too downbeat about the performance against Slovakia that consigned England to second place behind Wales in Group B. “I think the performance was good,” he said. “In the first half especially we created some good chances we could have scored from but I felt we played well the whole game. I felt as though we looked fresh. I felt we were winning the ball back very quickly, and I felt the players who came in played well. I feel the manager wants to use the full squad and felt we benefitted from that and produced a good performance.”

Henderson was one of the six players brought in by Roy Hodgson and the number of changes has been criticised in many quaters, including by the top brass at the FA, but the Liverpool midfielder feels it is not just about a starting XI in tournament football. “I am just ready to play when the manager tells me to. Obviously, Wayne Rooney [who was left on the bench] is a big player for us and he’s the captain and when he came on I thought he did very well. But the 23-man squad is used in the competition [and we should] do our best to use players and rest players.”

In the meantime Henderson said England would not get hung up on their opponents in Nice on Monday but would concentrate on themselves. “We won’t focus on the games on Wednesday,” he said. “We’ll get whoever we get. We’ll look at ourselves, look over the last few games and look at what we need to improve on, and look forward to Monday.”

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