Jordan Henderson is backing Sam Allardyce to keep home-town club Sunderland in the Premier League – but is determined to pile on the misery on his return to the Stadium of Light.
The 25-year-old Liverpool skipper and his team-mates head to Wearside on Wednesday evening determined to build upon their 1-0 victory over leaders Leicester by condemning the Black Cats to a fifth successive defeat.
Henderson came through the ranks at Sunderland before earning a £16million switch to Anfield in June 2011, but he will have only one aim in mind this week.
Asked about Allardyce, he said: “He’s a good enough manager to keep them up, but the only thing that will be on my mind will be to get the three points.”
Liverpool’s win over the Foxes was their first in five attempts in all competitions and followed a shock 3-0 defeat at promoted Watford.
Henderson admitted the Reds had to play clever football to see off Leicester, and he is expecting to have to do much the same at Sunderland if they are to prosper once again.
He said: “We need to be more clever. With the conditions at Watford and the wind, we tried to over-play at times and that sort of killed us.
“We need to play more clever football, which is what we did against Leicester by playing in behind their defence more, and that gave us a platform.
“We will have to be clever again at Sunderland because it will be a difficult game for us, so we need to make sure we do the same as we did against Leicester.
“We need to find different solutions in games and make sure we win the battle.”
The Boxing Day victory was secured by striker Christian Benteke’s first league goal since October after he came off the bench to replace the injured Divock Origi.
Henderson is hoping the end of his drought will provide a welcome boost, adding: “All strikers want to be scoring goals and I am sure that one will give him confidence.”