Jordan can take criticism
Jordan Henderson claims the criticism of his performances since joining Liverpool made him even more determined to prove the doubters wrong.
Last Updated: 14/06/12 8:35am
Jordan Henderson insists he relished the criticism of his performances since he joined Liverpool because it made him even more determined to prove the doubters wrong.
The 21-year-old admitted he initially struggled to cope with the criticism but had become "more of a man", allowing him to shrug off claims he did not deserve to be part of England's European Championship squad.
Henderson was elevated from the standby list to Roy Hodgson's 23-man party for Poland and Ukraine when Frank Lampard was ruled out through injury.
"Maybe at the start of the season, I needed to deal with the increased scrutiny that comes with playing for Liverpool a little bit better," Henderson said.
"But I wouldn't want it any other way now. I think I've taken it quite well and it's the way I like it to be.
"I would rather have people criticising. It gives you that little bit more incentive to go and prove them wrong.
"I think more about what the manager at Liverpool and my team-mates think or the manager and the players with England.
"It's more important what they think, so there's no criticism that has stuck but I know when I don't play well and when I know when I play well.
"I am very critical of myself so I need to be a little bit more confident at times."
Henderson found himself firmly under the spotlight this season after moving to Liverpool from Sunderland in a £20million transfer.
"At times, I have done quite well and been pleased," said the midfielder, who scored just two goals during the campaign.
"At different times, I have been disappointed with my performances and the way I have played.
"But I am going to come across that. That is part and parcel of football. I have to deal with that and that will help me to improve in the future.
"I have had a lot of great experiences even in this past year and it has made me more of a man and I am looking forward to keeping on playing and contributing to the team."
Henderson's services have already been required for the final 13 minutes of Monday's opening 1-1 draw with France.
And with manager Roy Hodgson expressing doubts over Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker's ability to play every four days, the youngster could have a very big part to play indeed in Poland and Ukraine.
Henderson insisted he was ready to do so but was not expecting Parker - who he replaced on Monday - to be making way any time soon.
"Scott is fit enough to recover really well and be ready for the Sweden game," he said. "He trained a little bit and was fine. So I'm sure he will be fine for the next game."