'He can say what he wants!': Jordan Henderson responds to ex-Sunderland manager Roy Keane's 'card trick' quip
Jordan Henderson has laughed off quips made by former Sunderland manager Roy Keane regarding his place in the England squad.
The 30-year-old was a major doubt for the European Championships after undergoing groin surgery in February, but he was handed a place in the squad by Gareth Southgate.
Henderson made his return in the second half of the 1-0 win over Romania on Sunday, with Keane offering a cutting verdict on his inclusion in the squad during ITV’s coverage of the fixture.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say they want him around the place,” said Keane.
“For what? Does he do card tricks? Does he have a sing-song? Does he do quizzes in the evening? What does he do?
“Surely Jordan doesn’t want to be around the place either being some sort of cheerleader. You want to play and he’s clearly nowhere near it.”
But Henderson met the comments with a smile when quizzed on them at an England press conference on Tuesday.
And while card tricks may not be a specialty, the Liverpool captain does feel he has some tricks up his sleeve ahead of the clash with Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.
“To be fair to Roy, he can say what he wants about me,” said Henderson.
“He gave me my debut and I wouldn’t be here without him giving me that.
“He can say whatever he wants about me. I found it quite funny, actually.
“So, yeah, listen, we know a little bit more detail, I know more detail and so does the manager, which Roy may not.
“But in terms of stuff like that, everyone’s going to have an opinion, everybody’s going to think they know better than everybody else.
“But for me all my focus has been on the last couple of months is working as hard as I possibly can to be in a position where I can contribute in the tournament and I’m very thankful I’m in that position now.
"And the card tricks he was on about – I’ve got a few of them up me sleeve!
“Listen, as a player you want to play and I’m not coming here just to be around the camp, like Roy was saying.”