England international Jordan Henderson has stressed that he has overcome the disappointment of losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid and his focus is now entirely on the Three Lions’ pursuit of the World Cup. Gareth Southgate’s side begun their World Cup campaign with a late 2-1 win over Tunisia and they can now assure themselves of a knockout spot with a victory over Panama.
Speaking in a press conference, Henderson highlighted that he has forgotten about the events in Kiev last month and his sole aim is now on helping the Three Lions make a mark at the World Cup, he said: “The Champions League Final in Kiev was a difficult night – but football moves quickly. You have to move on and use the experience.
“I had a few days to reflect – but then my focus quickly changed to the World Cup, to England. I don’t see these players differently because I have trained with them for so long. That’s with England teams and I’ve also played with them and against them a lot in the Premier League. So I know how much quality there is in the group and that’s why we have got so much confidence.”
Based on Panama’s recent showing, England should claim a comfortable win against them but they still need to guard against complacency. The Three Lions have made it a trend to falter when the expectations are high on them and this is something which Southgate would want to avoid in the upcoming game.
Meanwhile, Henderson could get a new midfield partner for the Panama game with Dele Alli said to be struggling with a thigh injury. The Spurs man has taken no part in training in the lead-up to the weekend clash and Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been highlighted as the prime candidate to replace him at the heart of the midfield.