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Football

22nd Dec 2021

“Concerned” Jordan Henderson speaks up for players as Premier League ploughs on

Callum Boyle

Jordan Henderson

‘I don’t think people can appreciate how intense it is until you actually see it first hand’

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is concerned that the welfare of players isn’t being taken seriously when it comes to the demand on playing games.

Beginning with their 2-2 draw at Tottenham on Sunday, Liverpool will play five times within a two-week period, despite a host of Covid-19 cases and injuries.

Premier League clubs met on Monday (20 December) to discuss a one-week circuit breaker, however they came to the agreement that the league would continue.

Henderson believes that people don’t understand the physical demands placed upon players by such a congested fixture list.

‘Football, to us, is everything,’ says Jordan Henderson

“I don’t think people can appreciate how intense it is until you actually see it first hand,” Henderson told BBC Sport.

“Football to us is everything and we want to be able to perform at the highest level every time we set foot on the pitch. And unfortunately, in this period it is difficult to do that.

“That has been like this for a few years now and it has been difficult but then, on top of that, you chuck in Covid and it becomes even harder and even worse.

“I am concerned that nobody really takes player welfare seriously.”

The midfielder went on to add that he doesn’t feel that players would get the respect for speaking their mind on the welfare of players.

He said:┬á“I think decisions get made – of course we want to play as footballers, we want to get out there and play – but I am worried about player welfare and I don’t think anybody does take that seriously enough, especially in this period, when Covid is here.

“We will try to have conversations in the background and try to have some sort of influence going forward, but at the minute I don’t feel the players get the respect they deserve in terms of having somebody being able to speak for them independently and having the power to say actually this isn’t right for player welfare.”

Liverpool host Leicester City in the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night (22 December) with manager Jurgen Klopp expected to ring the changes to prevent more of his squad joining the injury list.

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