Gerrard backs Liverpool team-mate Henderson

01 June 2012 04:47

England skipper Steven Gerrard is backing replacement midfielder Jordan Henderson to prove the doubters wrong by filling the void left by the injured Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry at Euro 2012.

Henderson struggled to reproduce his best form during his first season at Liverpool after a £20 million move from Sunderland. But Reds captain Gerrard has no doubt that Henderson will flourish and realise his potential after being promoted from the England stand-by group for Poland and Ukraine.

Gerrard said: "I can guarantee you that, if the public are criticising Jordan, they will change their opinion of him very soon. He will prove them wrong. He is good enough to do it and will thrive on what is coming up."

Gerrard believes all the players have a responsibility to ensure the loss of Barry and Lampard, who have won 143 caps between them for their country, is compensated. But he concedes it may lead to his own role in the side being modified ahead of Saturday's international friendly with Belgium at Wembley.

Gerrard said: "The responsibility is on the whole squad. Those two (Barry and Lampard) are big players for the team and they will be missed. As a group we have to share the responsibility around and maybe it might alter my position slightly, but we will have to wait and see what the manager decides to do.

"I know Roy likes to play a system where he likes his midfielders to be slightly more disciplined than we are used to at our clubs but we have to adapt to that.

"It is not about me and what I want, it's about what is best for the team. Players might have to adapt the roles at their clubs to suit his formation and his team and I'm totally fine with that."

Gerrard already has one eye on England's opening Euro 2012 clash with France in Donetsk on June 11 and knows it is vital they avoid defeat.

He said: "I watched France last night against Serbia and they looked very strong. They are a good team. We know a lot about them because we've played against them before. They've got some players that play in the Premier League. We have a lot of respect for them but they are not unbeatable.

"We know if we play to our maximum, our top form, there's a chance we can beat them. There is a big rivalry. There have been some mega clashes in the game. It's very important not to lose the game. A win would be fantastic but, if we can avoid defeat, it sets us up nicely for the next two."

Source: PA