LIVERPOOL midfielder Jordan Henderson is the first to acknowledge the part Steve Bruce played in his career but that is as far as the appreciation will go ahead of Sunday’s reunion with his former manager.
The England international established himself as a Sunderland first-team regular in two seasons under the former Manchester United defender at the Stadium of Light.
That helped earn him a move to Anfield where his career is starting to take off properly under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers, whom Press Association Sport understands is not close to signing an improved contract at Anfield contrary to reports.
Henderson has not forgotten the helping hand he received from Bruce but will be focused on helping the Reds return to winning ways against Hull at the weekend.
“I was at Sunderland with Steve Bruce, who I thought was brilliant for Sunderland and me personally,” said the 23-year-old.
“I’ve got a lot to thank him for but hopefully we beat him on Sunday.
“I’m sure he’ll have them ready and raring to go on Sunday. It will be a very difficult game, so we need to make sure we’re right on it from the start.”
After a thrilling 3-3 draw in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park, Liverpool will be looking to strengthen their second place in the table with a run of matches against Hull, Norwich and West Ham - with the Tigers the highest-placed of those sides in 13th.
Henderson told LFC TV: “We have had a couple of difficult away games. I think we’re doing okay but we can still improve and keep pushing on.
“Hopefully, with a few wins, we can push even higher.
“We’re trying to work on the mistakes that we make in games - hopefully we can put them right for the next game on Sunday.
“I know Steve Bruce well and he will have Hull ready for it.
“They are a very solid team with a physical presence. They will be up for it against a team like Liverpool and it certainly won’t be an easy game.
“We just have to look at ourselves and make sure we do the right things.
“There are so many games to be played at this time of year and we need to make this busy period count.
“We are second in the league and we have to make sure we continue in the way we have started the season. We’ve got a big squad so hopefully we’ll be able to deal with any injuries or suspensions.”