The 24-year-old is Rodgers' captain-in-waiting after the departure of Steven Gerrard and, speaking at St George's Park this week, ahead of England's friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin tomorrow, Henderson said the manager had the backing of his players. “Of course I wanted him [Brendan] to stay,” he said. “I have always spoken very highly of Brendan ever since he came to the club and he has been good to me and fantastic for Liverpool.”
“This season is a big season for everyone involved. We all know that. We want to be finishing as high in the league as we possibly can but also winning trophies.
“We have a great group of lads, there is great potential but it is time now we started showing that potential in the Premier League and in cup competitions. Getting to semi-finals is great but we need to be getting to finals and winning them.”
Henderson was on the squad trip to Dubai at the end of the season, a gesture from the players to say farewell to Gerrard, which he said became a worthwhile team- bonding exercise after the deflation at the end of the season. “We were gutted with the last game of the season, devastated with how it had gone and to be honest no one really wanted to go but it was Stevie leaving and we wanted to say thank you and bye to him.”
It came after a dreadful defeat to Stoke which Henderson said was one of his worst experiences in football. “It was awful really. I cannot really explain the feelings when you are in the game. It was horrendous. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, but again we have got to move on and forget about that and start afresh next season. Everyone was devastated at half-time and we had to try and pick ourselves up going into the second half.”
He said the signing of James Milner would lend experience to the team in the absence of Gerrard and added he hoped his team-mate and friend Raheem Sterling would stay too. “You have to keep your best players as well and for me Raheem is an outstanding player. Off the pitch everyone loves him, he is a great lad, he is getting a lot of criticism but I couldn't fault his work ethic, the way he goes about his business, he hasn't got an ego. He is a huge player for us and we need to keep him.
“I am a good friend of Raheem and we speak in private. Everyone knows what I think but it is up to Raheem the path he wants to choose. At the end of the day he is a very mature young lad for what he has been through so far in his career, he is level-headed and knows what he wants. I hope the decision comes that he stays at Liverpool.” – The Independent
Original source: Henderson’s rallying call to Liverpool