Football

Henderson hails Liverpool's patience as Reds bounce back

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson praised his team for showing patience as they claimed an "important" win against Huddersfield Town yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The result was indeed a timely shot in the arm for the Reds, who suffered back-to-back shock defeats against English Premier League strugglers Swansea City in the league and West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup.

But the rot was stemmed at the John Smith's Stadium yesterday, as strikes by Emre Can and Roberto Firmino put the Merseyside club 2-0 up at the interval, before Mohamed Salah finished off the game with a 78th-minute penalty.

Henderson told BT Sport: "It was important for us after the last two results and performances that, obviously, we weren't happy with.

"It was a tough game, we knew that, but an important one for us.

"I knew if we did the things we've been doing well for the majority of the season, then we'd come here and put on a good performance and we managed to do that."

On Firmino's goal that gave Liverpool a two-goal cushion, he added: "That was an important goal for us just at half-time, but the biggest key for us tonight was patience.

"We knew that they were going to frustrate us or try to, so we kept the ball, kept it moving quickly and, when we felt it was the right time, we went and penetrated the line. We did that brilliantly at times."

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp was also delighted with his team's ability to bounce back from the recent setbacks.

He was quoted as saying in the club's official website: "That was the reaction we needed to show. Everybody saw it was not brilliant, it was not the best game we played , but it was very mature and, in the end, very deserved."

But he stressed not to read too much into Virgil van Dijk's absence from the line-up, with Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip starting as the central defensive pair instead.

The Dutch centre back, who became the world's most expensive defender when he signed from Southampton for a fee of £75 million (S$138.9m) last month, performed below expectations during the losses to Swansea and West Brom.

But Klopp said of his decision in the post-match press conference: "It's completely normal. They have played longer together than Virgil has, and Southampton play a completely different style to us.

"Plus, the fitness thing. It's clear that in half a year, Virgil will be a completely different player to last week or next week. That's completely normal.

"It's a very important position and very important that it's really tuned between the parts and stuff like that. This was simply a physical thing."

Football