England and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson says that the Three Lions camp have kept their sense of optimism despite the opening defeat to Italy.

Roy Hodgson’s men slipped to a narrow loss at the hands of the Azzurri to put them joint bottom of Group D with one game played.

The result leaves their qualification hopes hanging in the balance, with another beating at the hands of Uruguay or Costa Rica likely to send them home before the knockout phase of the tournament starts.

Despite the opening disappointment, England performed well against Italy, with the likes of youngsters Raheem Sterling and latterly Ross Barkley having made encouraging contributions.

Henderson – who himself is relatively inexperienced on the international stage – says that the loss hasn’t left the squad to downbeat heading into their Thursday clash with fellow losers Uruguay:

“What we will do is keep confident, keep believing and look forward to the next game,” said the Liverpool midfielder.” He is quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

“I felt as though we gave it everything and we worked really well as a team.

“Going forward, I thought we were brilliant, especially in the first half. I thought we counter-attacked really well and obviously got the goal.

“In the second half, I thought we dominated with the ball, dominated with possession and penetrated with the passing and runs in behind, with a few chances.

“So it was disappointing to lose but we gave it everything we had.”

The Magic Sponge