sport

Henderson optimistic for 2014

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson is hoping the New Year's Day win over Hull City can kick-start a successful 2014 for his side.

Goals from Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez either side of half-time ensured that Brendan Rodgers' men began the year by returning to winning ways following back-to-back 2-1 defeats against title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.

The three points meant that Liverpool returned to the top four and, although Henderson admitted it was tougher than they would have liked, the 23-year-old acknowledged the need for opening the year with a win.

"It was important to get the year off to a good start," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"Maybe we didn't play as well as we have done in certain games when we have won by four or five, but we showed we can grind a result out when we're not at our best.

"We could have had more goals. I should have scored with the chance I had when I dragged it wide.

"And their 'keeper made a couple of good saves from Philippe [Coutinho] but the most important thing was getting the three points and we're delighted with the result.

"Our aim is to make Anfield a fortress - to make it really difficult for teams when they come here.

"We've been doing that and hopefully we can keep doing that and pick up points away too."

Henderson also spoke of the testing Christmas period which saw his side play three games in the space of a week, admitting that the defeats away to Manchester City and Chelsea were disappointing.

"This period hasn't been too bad for us but it could have been a little bit better," he said.

"I think we can't be too disheartened with the performances against Man City and Chelsea. I felt we played well and definitely deserved something out of both games.

"I thought we matched them, if not were better than them, in the two games. We just didn't get the bit of luck that we deserved.

"We had to forget about all that and put things right against Hull. It was very important to get back to winning ways after those two defeats.

"We're back in the top four and I definitely believe we can stay there. Now we've got to keep it going and try to kick on for the rest of the season."