JORDAN HENDERSON is targeting a flying start to 2013 after revealing he shrugged off a sickness bug to play his part in Liverpool’s 3-0 thrashing of Queens Park Rangers.
The 22-year-old midfielder was hampered by the same virus which forced boss Brendan Rodgers to miss the trip to Loftus Road.
However, having been informed he would be making his first Premier League start for a month, Henderson was desperate not to pull out and battled on.
The England international played an hour before being replaced by Lucas Leiva and he’s now hoping to keep his place for tomorrow night’s clash with his former club Sunderland at Anfield.
“I was pretty close to not playing,” he said.
“I had a bad stomach on Saturday night and then I started vomiting. The doctor was worried about dehydration, but I love playing football and didn’t want to miss out.
“There’s a lot of competition for places here so when you are given an opportunity you can’t really allow anything to get in the way.
“They said in the warm-up to see how I went and I felt okay. I was pleased to get through an hour.
“My dad text me to say I looked white when I came off so that’s not a good sign really!
“Obviously the manager and two other lads got sent home but hopefully everyone will be ready for Wednesday.
“It’s another big game for us against Sunderland. They have been doing quite well recently with a couple of good results.
“But if we keep doing what we did at QPR then we’ll be confident of getting another positive result.”
Henderson believes the performance against Harry Redknapp’s side was the perfect response to the Boxing Day setback at the Britannia Stadium.
It completed a rollercoaster December for the Reds with league wins over Southampton, West Ham, Fulham and QPR coupled with poor defeats to Aston Villa and Stoke.
“There was a reaction to the Stoke game and it’s always good to bounce back from a defeat with a victory,” Henderson added.
“It was a convincing performance. We played some really good football against QPR, defended really well and scored three good goals.
“There were a couple of results in December we were disappointed with but we have to keep working hard and keep progressing. I certainly think we are getting better as a team.
“We need to keep that winning mentality now. If we do that than we can achieve a lot as a group.
“We want to be challenging for the top places but we just have to keep plugging away and try to get a run of wins going.
“When we play well, keep the ball and defend well, we can beat anyone. We just have to show that consistency in the Premier League.”