Liverpool star demands squad to rise up to the challenge

Liverpool vice-captain Jordan Henderson has called on the squad to prove that they can cope without the presence of Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard, who are both absentees for the Reds through injury for the foreseeable future.

Brazilian midfielder Lucas is out for four to six weeks after suffering a thigh injury in the goalless draw with Everton in last Saturday’s Merseyside derby, while captain Gerrard is sidelined for three weeks with a tight hamstring.

Despite this setback, Henderson wants to see the fringe players of the Reds squad to rise to the occasion, with the 24-year-old also saying he is prepared to take on greater responsibility ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash against Crystal Palace in South London.

Speaking to ESPN, Henderson said: “it is another chance for people to come in and show what they are made of and slot straight into the team. Hopefully someone can do that. Maybe I need to take more responsibility with those two players gone.”

The England international has made 24 appearances for the Reds in the Premier League this season, scoring twice. He is likely to skipper the Reds against the Eagles over the weekend, and has been touted as Liverpool’s next permanent captain once Steven Gerrard leaves the club at the end of the campaign.

Got any questions? Follow me on Twitter @GruffuddOwen