Henderson prepared for England challenge

Jordan Henderson has declared himself ready if needed to claim a place in England’s central midfield.

Jordan Henderson has declared himself ready if needed to claim a place in England’s central midfield.

The Liverpool midfielder, who replaced Scott Parker for the final 13 minutes of Monday's opening 1-1 draw with France, said: "I will be ready if I am needed."

However, Henderson played down the prospect of that occurring any time soon, having watched Steven Gerrard and Parker in close quarters on Monday.

"Steve and Scotty did very well in there," said the 21-year-old, who earned his fourth cap in Donetsk.

"I think they're both fit enough to last the full game but I was delighted to get on for the last 15 minutes.

"I had to treat it like any other game. It was another amazing experience for me."

It was an experience Henderson would not have enjoyed but for the injuries that ruled Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry out of Euro 2012.

"There has been a lot of criticism but that is part and parcel of football - it doesn't bother me," said the former Sunderland star.

He added of England's injury jinx: "There have been a few changes, but changes I was pleased with.

"I wanted to come away with the squad. I have been able to do that.

"The last 12 months have gone quickly, but I am delighted to be in the squad. Now I want to try and get myself in the team."

 
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