England U21 captain Jordan Henderson ready for European Championship
England Under-21 captain Jordan Henderson insists that motivation for the European Championship is not a problem.
Last Updated: 04/06/13 9:33pm
Just weeks - and in some cases days - after their club campaigns finished, Stuart Pearce's side convened for the summer tournament that kicks-off in Israel on Wednesday.
Henderson, like so many others, played more than 40 matches over the course of the season, but he would much rather be playing through the summer than resting on the beach.
"It is a great honour to captain the country - at any level it is a real privilege," the Young Lions skipper said.
"The lads have been brilliant getting here over two years, but now it's important we do the job right now and finish it off well.
"This is a huge tournament. You can see over the past few years some of the best players in the world have played in this tournament so it is big.
"Everybody will be excited and definitely, definitely motivated going into the games. Certainly not tired. No problem.
"We trained well in Turkey, and trained a couple of days here. We have trained really well and everybody seems to be fit.
"We are starting to adapt to the heat more now. At night time, it will be a bit cooler so the temperature shouldn't be an issue."
Henderson will be hoping to make amends in Israel for two years ago, when England failed to make it out of their group.
The tournament came at a time when his move from Sunderland to Liverpool was going through, but the 22-year-old insists that made no impact on his performances there.
"I have been working hard over this past season on a few things," Henderson said.
"I have worked with the manager and stuff at my club and fortunately I have managed to work on the things he wanted me to improve on.
"I am feeling very confident going into the tournament, like I was two years ago. I don't think there is much difference, to be honest.
"I was confident then and I am confident going into it now.
"We're professionals at the end of the day and going into a big tournament two years ago I just concentrated and it didn't really affect the way I played or anything like that. It is just the same really."
Unlike England, Italy did not qualify for the 2011 championships - the first time they had missed out since 1998.
They will be looking for a winning return when they face England in their Group A opener in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, which could pit Henderson against Liverpool team-mate Fabio Borini.
"We know Italy are a very good side and I have trained with Fab and know he is great at finishing," he said. "We have to get tight on him.
"There is a lot of good quality in their team but if we do it right we have a really good chance."