Jordan Henderson says Liverpool have little choice but to try and turn Virgil van Dijk's devastating injury into a positive for the rest of their season.
The Dutchman may not kick another ball in 2020/21 after sustaining an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury following a wild challenge from Jordan Pickford in Saturday's Merseyside derby.
Plenty have been quick to write-off Liverpool's chances of retaining the Premier League title or progressing to the latter stages of the Champions League in Van Dijk's absence, and while Reds skipper Henderson admits the blow is difficult to take, he says the squad are determined to respond strongly.
“Yeah, it’s a tough one. It’s a big blow for us. For him personally, obviously. But for us as a team, a massive blow,” he told the Liverpool website.
“I’m just gutted for him. So, it’s been a tough couple of days, I spoke to him yesterday. And yeah, it’s a difficult moment, but that’s when you need to be there for each other.
“I’ll be there as much as I possibly can for him, I’m sure the lads will do the same and his family certainly will, to help him through the journey he’ll go on.
“But I’m sure he’ll be back stronger. In the meantime we’ve got to do everything we can to help make us stronger and basically go and win as many games as we can for him, really.
“That’s down to us as players to make sure that when he is back and he is fit that we’re still fighting to be successful and fighting for trophies.
“You’ve got to use times like this to be stronger and to be even more together than we already are. And use it as a positive in some way – I know it sounds ridiculous at the moment, but that’s what you need to try to do.
"We need to try to look forward and try to help us in the next however many months Virgil will be out for.
“And also stick by him and be there for him whenever he needs us. But he’s a strong character, he’s strong mentally and he certainly will be back stronger and hopefully it’s not too long.”
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