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Jordan Henderson: ‘Gareth gives more ownership. We are stronger’

England’s captain is enjoying being given freedom to lead on and off the field by Gareth Southgate

The first question for Jordan Henderson seems obvious. His club manager has just dissed the Uefa Nations League as “the most senseless competition in the world”, so what does the Liverpool captain think he is doing, playing so competitively in a match behind closed doors in Croatia that he ended up being booked?

“Managers tend to see things differently,” he says. “As a player, you want to win every game. That’s what footballers do, they want to play and they want to win. For England it is important to be taking on the big nations like Croatia and Spain. If we want to get to the next level we need to be playing teams like that and hopefully beating them. It’s a good challenge for us, especially after what we did in the World Cup. International football always has a different feel to it than Premier League games, perhaps it is a bit less intense, but you know it will be physically demanding against Spain because they keep the ball so well.”

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