Midfielder says clean sheets crucial to Reds winning run
Jordan Henderson has hailed Liverpool’s mean streak as integral to the team “digging out” their 100% start to the season.
Brendan Rodgers’ side went into this week’s international break on top of the embryonic Premier League table following three consecutive 1-0 victories.
Including the end of the previous campaign, the Anfield outfit have now kept clean sheets in eight of their last 10 top-flight outings.
Liverpool were forced to defend for long periods against Manchester United last Sunday, having done the same at Aston Villa the previous weekend.
And Henderson said: “Defensively, we have looked very solid. Sometimes you have to dig results out and we have done that.
“Up front, Daniel (Sturridge) has been brilliant for us. He has been outstanding ever since he joined the club. He is scoring goals and hopefully he can carry on doing that for us.
“But the clean sheets have also been really pleasing. We were solid at the back in our opening two matches and it was the same again against United.
“We could have kept the ball better at times as we did give it away too much in the second half. Manchester United are a very good side but we were well organised, dug deep and kept going right until the end.”
With Kolo Toure injured, Martin Skrtel stepped in at centre-back last weekend for his first game of the season and posted a man-of-the-match performance.
There is set to be serious competition for places at the heart of Liverpool’s defence with Rodgers completing a £25million double deal on Monday for Paris Saint-Germain’s Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori of Sporting Lisbon.
But Henderson added: “I thought Martin was outstanding against United. He got man of the match and rightly so. We have got some brilliant defenders here and with another two coming in, they will all have to fight for their places.”
Henderson has also echoed the comments of team-mate Lucas Leiva in warning there can be no let-up from Liverpool when they return to action on Monday week at Swansea City.
“The United win was a great result for us and everyone was over the moon after,” he said.
“We achieved what we wanted from the game. Maybe beating the champions sends out a message but we’ll just keep focusing on what we need to do. We cannot get ahead of ourselves.
“From the start this season we have been brilliant but we have got to keep fighting and keep pushing on. We can’t relax now just because we’ve beaten Manchester United. We want to maintain this momentum.”
Liverpool are still waiting to discover the extent of Glen Johnson’s high ankle sprain suffered against United that forced him out of England’s squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying double header against Moldova and Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Capital One Cup third round tie at Manchester United has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 25 (kick-off 7.45pm) and will be shown live on Sky Sports.