HENDERSON THE BENCHMARK FOR NEW ENGLAND; Leader Jordan takes it upon himself to help squad players and those left out to still feel very much part of the team's success.
JORDAN HENDERSON scored his first international goal on Saturday night - but then explained his vital role behind the scenes.
Henderson is one of the key leaders in Gareth Southgate's set-up and has taken it upon himself to help the players who are not seeing much game time.
With the squad expanded to 26, but only 12 players allowed on the bench, Southgate has to disappoint three people every match day.
In Rome on Saturday, it was Ben White, Reece James and Bukayo Saka, although the Arsenal player was believed to have suffered a slight knock.
White, Ben Chilwell and Conor Coady - along with the two back-up keepers, Sam Johnstone and Aaron Ramsdale - have yet to taste a moment's action in the tournament.
In the immediate aftermath of England's rout of Ukraine, Southgate paid a special tribute to the fringe players and Henderson has been doing his bit to keep their spirits up. He said: "The most important part is how the lads not playing as much - but are training the day after games and pushing the lads that are playing - are supporting the lads around the dressing room and the camps.
"You see celebrations when we score the goals, the whole bench is up and that makes the difference on the pitch.
"That's for everyone to see not only on the pitch but behind the scenes.
"We've got a great togetherness and you need that if you are going to be successful.
"We need that over the next week but, in terms of going forward long-term, we always need that togetherness.
"I think that's been really special this time around.
"The three players that miss out on the squad, that can be really dif ficult mentally, especially when you are away for a long time.
"I try to take as much responsibility as possible to try to make those players feel a part of it.
"I have to say, the training level has been so high, even the day after when it is difficult because you haven't played or haven't been in the squad.
"Everybody has dug in and pushed each other to be there and be ready if called upon." Henderson has yet to start a game but made his presence felt when he came on just before the hour in the Stadio Olimpico, heading in Mason Mount's corner (below) for his first England goal in 62 appearances.
"It was a really special moment," he said of his goal which followed two from Harry Kane and another from Harry Maguire.
"I have waited a long time. I suppose to get it in the quarter-final of a European Championship isn't a bad place to get it. It was an amazing moment.
"I feel fortunate to get on the scoresheet, to get on the pitch and obviously to win the game." But as the senior player in the squad, Henderson, 31, will be making sure thoughts are al ready on the Wembley semi-final against the Danes.
He said: "It was a fantastic performance against Ukraine, but we haven't achieved give D e n - mark full anything yet. We need to quickly turn the focus to Denmark.
r e s p e c t because they are a fantastic team. "We've played them not long ago and we know how difficult it will be."
"We've got momentum, we're feeling confident but, at the same time, we've got to
RATINGS by MattHEw Dunn mirror.co.uk/sport/football ENGLAND PICKFORD 6 In the right place when called upon with early near-post save so deserved to get away with miskick WALKER 5 Strong, fast but error-prone. Weirdly he has looked less convincing when playing as a regular right back STONES 7 Another solid performance in the heart of defence stopped Ukraine strikers getting their tails up MAGUIRE 8 Powerful presence who was not afraid to use his physicality - not least to force home his goal SHAW 8 Dramatically good delivery for England's second and third goals. Dangerous from set pieces and open play PHILLIPS 7 Usual energetic display tidying up whenever England lost possession. And avoided the yellow card RICE 7 Absolute belter of a shot stung the hands of the Ukraine goalkeeper; performance deserved a goal MOUNT 7 Seemed to be making up for lost time after his isolation and kept England pouring forward SANCHO 7 This was his moment and he certainly was not afraid to give it a go if his usual end product was missing STERLING 9 Lifted England whenever he got the ball and the eye-of-a-needle pass to Kane was world class KANE 8 He's got that scoring feeling; woah that scoring feeling. After Germany goal, he's back SUBS: Henderson 7 (Rice 57), Trippier 6 (Shaw 65), Bellingham 6 (Phillips 65), Rashford 6 (Sterling 65), Calvert-Lewin 6 (Kane 73) MAN OF THE MATCH RAHEEM STERLING UKRAINE ENGLAND 49% POSSESSION 51% 2 SHOTS ON TARGET 6 1 SHOTS OFF TARGET 2 3 CORNERS 2 0 OFFSIDE 2 10 FOULS 4 0 0 CARDS 0 0 REFEREE: Felix Brych UKRAINE Bushchan 6, Zabarnyi 6, Kryvtsov 5 (Tsygankov 35, 5), Matvienko 6, Karavaev 5, Shaparenko 6, Sydorchuk 6 (Makarenko 64, 6), Zinchenko 6, Mykolenko 5, Yarmolenko 6, Yaremchuk 6 mirror.co.uk/sport/football
SCREAMER Harry Kane leaps on Henderson after he headed the fourth
FACT Jordan Henderson's goal was his first for England in his 62nd appearance for the Three Lions. Of all players to score at least once for England, Henderson's 62 games is the longest a player has ever had to wait (previously Sol Campbell, 47)
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|Author:||UKRAINE 0 ENGLAND 4 Kane 4, 50, Maguire 46, Henderson 63 BY ANDY DUNN|
|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 5, 2021|
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