After being knocked off top spot by Chelsea following a goalless draw with Southampton at the weekend, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has explained that not only will the Reds have to get used to teams parking the bus against them, but the fans will have to too.
“I think because of the way we started the season, teams will come and try to defend and break up the play – they’ll want to disrupt our rhythm as much as possible,” the 26-year old told the club’s official website. But that’s part and parcel of football – teams might see that as the best way to get a point, or three, against us. We have to be prepared to face that scenario and when we do come up against it, find the solution to get a win,” added Henderson, knowing full well that the best teams solve problems, not dwell on them. “It’s about momentum and keeping it going by retaining the ball well and ensuring the pressure stays on them.”
With perennial stragglers Sunderland set to visit at the weekend, Liverpool will likely be in for the same kind of match that they were treated to against the Saints last time out. Content to sit with eleven players behind the ball and hit on the counter-attack when possible, Claude Puel’s side became only the third team this season to keep the Reds off the score-sheet and considering the Black Cats need every single point they can get, there’d be little surprise if David Moyes employed the same kind of tactics.
“I also think in those situations a big part of dealing with opponents who want to keep it tight is about patience from everybody, both us players and our fans,” explained the Liverpool skipper. “The fans always get behind us and in games like that you probably need them to drive you on even more,” continued Henderson. “If they get too impatient or frustrated, that can transmit to the pitch. We all have to keep going and continue to be positive because a goal might come in the last five minutes or the last minute,” he added. “When we score doesn’t matter because it still gets us a result. You have to keep pushing and believing, no matter what the score is.”