Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has stated that proving former Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has made him a stronger player, Mirror reports.
Henderson will play an important role in England’s midfield after an outstanding season for his club, in which the Reds became unexpected challengers for the Premier League title.
The Liverpool regular has been criticized by the media in recent year but claims that his selection for the World Cup has proved doubter wrong.
He is expected to play alongside Steven Gerrard with the Three Lions, the same midfield partnership he has at Anfield.
The former Sunderland player has received some harsh criticism from Joey Barton on Twitter – labelling him as the ‘fall guy’ in last summer’s U21 tournament – and Alex Ferguson, who in his biography hit out at his gait and running style.
However all this only made the 23-year-old stronger.
“In football you are going to have times where you have got to be strong, and you have got to keep believing in your own ability,” he said. “That is just part and parcel of the game.
“Hopefully I can keep progressing as a player and getting better. There were a few people who did help me – the big players at Liverpool when you’re around them help you a lot.
“But at the same time you have to deal with stuff like that on your own and try and get through it on your own. No one else can change it – except yourself, to be honest.
“There is no one more disappointed than us when we don’t have a good game or are not playing well – I just had to keep battling and try and prove them wrong.”
In regards to Ferguson’s comments about his running style, Henderson said: “I think everybody blew it up to be more than it was.
“But looking back I took it as a bit of a compliment because he said he was watching us and thinking about buying us so I must have been doing something right.