Why England's vocal coach Jordan Henderson won't be shutting up any time soon

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Jordan Henderson has assumed the unofficial role of England‘s vocal coach – and the Liverpool midfielder does not intend on keeping quiet any time soon.

At 28-years-of-age, Henderson is now an elder statesman of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions set-up.

The former Sunderland man can reach 50 caps if he features in both forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

Harry Kane is the captain of an England squad still developing after reaching a World Cup semi-final last summer, but the likes of Henderson also play a key role.

He was heard barking out orders and instructions in the goalless Nations League draw in Croatia back in October – the eerily quiet atmosphere of the empty Stadion HNK in Rijeka shattered by his bellows.

Croatia had been ordered to play the fixture behind closed doors following fan trouble but the coaching staff, security and media inside the ground would have heard Henderson rallying the troops.

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“It’s something that is quite natural,” he replied when asked about how vocal he was that night.

“I haven’t just been like that over the past couple of years, I’ve been like that most of my career, even when I was really young.

“Maybe when I was younger too much in the wrong way, but I feel as though I’ve improved that and I’m more constructive, more helpful to the team.”

Henderson believes he may be part of a dying breed of players willing to raise their voice and be heard by their team-mates, something he feels is vital in helping the younger players on the pitch.

“There aren’t many players I can think of now to be fair but I do think that is still important,” he added.

“I don’t just do it for its own sake, I do it because I feel as though it can help. The more people you have on the pitch that are talking and communicating then the easier it is really.

“You need people who are vocal on the pitch to give information at different times of the game.

“Coaching younger players and coach them within the game – what you want them to do as a team, what we’ve been working on. I try to do that as best I can.”

Henderson has plenty of wisdom to impart having captained Liverpool all the way to the Champions League final last season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side slipped to a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev before Henderson joined up with an England squad which would go on to surprise many onlookers by reaching the last four in Russia.

He may have learnt a lot from those near misses but the main thing Henderson takes from coming so close to two major honours is the feeling to put it right when next given the opportunity.

“I think it always stays with you, those moments,” he said.

“It gives you even more motivation to then keep going, keep wanting to be in that position again to make it right, and go that final step really.

“It’s definitely an extra motivation that I use. Maybe I had a little taste of it playing in finals but I haven’t really managed to win the big trophies, and now that’s the next step really.

“I don’t really look at it (the experience) as a benefit for me, I look at it as a benefit for the team more than anything.

“When you’ve got players that have been in that situation before, of experience, big games, semi-finals, finals, big competitions, then it’s good for the team.

“For players to be able to help them, especially the younger lads, to help cope with bigger occasions. And give them a little bit of experience on what to expect. The more players you have playing in those finals, the better really.”

England, meanwhile, will pay tribute to goalkeeping great Gordon Banks at Wembley on Friday when Tom Heaton will return to the squad.

A sell-out crowd will remember the 1966 star when Southgate’s Three Lions kick off their Euro 2020 qualification campaign against the Czechs.

There will be a period of appreciation in England’s first match since Banks died aged 81 on February 12, with players to wear black armbands and a banner to be displayed featuring his yellow World Cup shirt and the number one.

Members of his family will be in the Royal Box and representatives from his former club Stoke have been invited to a match that will see their current goalkeeper Jack Butland involved.

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Wales boss Ryan Giggs advises Liverpool's Ben Woodburn to put difficult season behind him

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Ben Woodburn (l) celebrates his injury time winner against Trinidad.

Liverpool forward Ben Woodburn has been advised by Wales boss Ryan Giggs to put his troubled season behind him and keep showing his natural talent.

Woodburn spared Wales’ blushes in Wrexham on Wednesday when his injury-time winner secured a 1-0 friendly victory over Trinidad & Tobago – the small Caribbean nation ranked 93rd in the world.

It was the 19-year-old’s first goal in senior football since his sensational debut winner in a World Cup qualifier against Austria in September 2017.

And Woodburn’s delight was evident after a difficult time when his loan spell at Sheffield United turned sour and Liverpool’s youngest-ever goalscorer returned to Anfield to play under-23 football.

“Very often the first loan move just doesn’t quite happen, for whatever reason,” Giggs said.

“Because Sheffield United were doing so well he was in and out. But now he’s back, he looks fit. It’s an important end to the season.

Giggs is preparing for the opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia on Sunday.

Giggs is preparing for the opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia on Sunday.

“When you’ve got that talent, that doesn’t go away. Now he’s got himself in really good physical condition, and he’s a threat.”

Woodburn burst onto the scene when making his Liverpool debut in November 2016 to become the third-youngest player in the club’s history.

He scored on his second appearance against Leeds in a League Cup tie at the age of 17 years and 45 days.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp dubbed Woodburn “The Prince of Wales” after his Austria heroics and sent the teenager out on loan last August to gain further first-team experience.

But Woodburn started only one Championship game in five months at United, and failed to score in eight appearances before returning to Liverpool at the start of January.

“Ben has to keep working hard, which he is doing at the moment,” Giggs said.

“He’s at a very good club who will look after him. The last few camps, he’s been really good in training. You could see the quality.

“I was dying to give him a game so it was great to see him score, especially late on and persevere like he did.”

Giggs disappointed the 10,000-plus capacity crowd at the Racecourse Ground with his second-string team selection against Trinidad.

The game marked Wales’ return to the north for the first time since 2008, but Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen were among the senior stars missing ahead of Sunday’s opening European Championship qualifier against Slovakia in Cardiff.

Giggs defended his team selection, saying the Slovakia game was his priority, but he admitted Woodburn’s performance had provided food for thought with Sunday in mind.

“When forwards score, they usually keep on scoring,” Giggs said.

“I said before that I challenged the players to push if you’re not in at the moment. Ben will definitely be an option that I look upon for Sunday.

“He has now had four or five games in the (Liverpool) 23s and he looks lean and fit. He is talent and he’s a goal scorer, and to have that to call upon if needed is great.”

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Man United's Marcus Rashford the only absentee as England train ahead of Czech game

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Marcus Rashford was the only absentee from England training a day out from their opening Euro 2020 qualifier against the Czech Republic.

The Manchester United striker is nursing an ankle injury that leaves him a slight concern for the visit of the Czechs to Wembley on Friday night.

Rashford, capped 31 times by his country, with six goals, had an individual session indoors at St George’s Park as he bids to prove his fitness.

The 21-year-old has become an integral part of Gareth Southgate’s line-up, scoring three times in his last six international appearances.

England’s official Twitter account posted: “21 players are taking part in today’s session, with @MarcusRashford working separately to the main group.”

He is the latest injury headache for Southgate, who has already had five players withdraw from the squad for the Group A double header against the Czechs and Montenegro.

On Wednesday, Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out because of a back complaint, with Fabian Delph, John Stones, Luke Shaw and Ruben Loftus-Cheek already ruled out.

Promising Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi has been brought in despite having not yet made a league start, with Southgate also turning to in-form Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

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