Performance counts but winning is key for Reds skipper

LONDON • Jordan Henderson wants Liverpool to be remembered for winning trophies rather than as the English Premier League's great entertainers.

Prior to this weekend's round of matches, the Reds were the joint top scorers on 24 goals in 10 games with Manchester City. But captain Henderson said that while the way Jurgen Klopp's side play might appeal to supporters, there is a clearly defined strategy behind the Merseysiders' approach.

"The main priority for us is if we're performing and playing the way we can then obviously it is entertaining football, it is high-intensity and everybody is going to enjoy watching us," said the midfielder ahead of today's match at home to Watford.

"But we do it for a reason - and the reason is that's the best way to play football and the best way to win games for us as a team."

For all the plaudits regarding their attacking play, Liverpool may need a new forward in January because of Danny Ings' injury setback and Sadio Mane's international commitments.

Striker Ings has been ruled out for the rest of the season, after he underwent surgery on Thursday for a cartilage injury suffered in the League Cup win over Tottenham.

With Mane scheduled to be involved in Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations campaign in January, Klopp's squad could be exposed at a crucial time.

"Yes, we watch the market all the time and we need to be prepared for different situations and one of them is injuries," the German said.

"It's not about how many strikers. Three strikers is enough, I think, but when Sadio is away we will be without a winger. We do not have many wingers, I would say. Roberto Firmino could play as a kind of a winger which would then give us just two strikers. That's how it is."

The Liverpool manager's options against Watford have at least been boosted by the return of James Milner, who has recovered from a virus and is expected to feature at left-back. Midfielders Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can are also available following illness.

Watford have lost just once in their last seven top-flight fixtures and Liverpool are unlikely to take the Hornets lightly, having lost 0-3 away last season.

"We physically beat them up on the day and the quality we showed in getting the goals was perfect, but it is going to be a different animal away from home," Watford captain Troy Deeney said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

LIVERPOOL V WATFORD

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 06, 2016, with the headline 'Performance counts but winning is key for Reds skipper'. Print Edition | Subscribe