Hendo off the mark
Jordan Henderson was delighted to get on the scoresheet on his 62nd international appearance but insists it was all about the overall team performance.
The vice-captain rounded off the scoring against Ukraine in Rome with a near-post header to bag his first-ever England goal as Gareth Southgate’s side reached a second consecutive major tournament semi-final.
The 31 year old, playing in his fifth major tournament for his country, was introduced from the bench to help see the Three Lions over the line on Saturday night.
Two goals from skipper Harry Kane either side of a Harry Maguire header had put Southgate’s side in a commanding position and Henderson’s name up lights for the first time helped seal a magical night in Rome.
“It’s about time, to be honest,” said the Liverpool skipper. “It's been a long time coming. I have felt one coming and thankfully I’ve managed to get on the scoresheet.
“I always felt it would come eventually but I always just try and contribute as best I can on the pitch. I never really think about needing to score goals, there are a lot of other players to do that, so I just concentrate on my job on the pitch and what the players and coaching staff need me to do.
“That’s all I can concentrate on. Of course I’d like to have scored more goals over the years but I can’t complain – I’m here and now I’m on the scoresheet, which is always nice.
“Overall, I’m delighted for the lads as the performance they put in tonight was fantastic and it will give us good momentum going into the next game.”
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England’s focus now turns to a semi-final with 1992 EURO winners Denmark and the prospect of playing in a major final for the first time in more than 50 years.
He’s played in his fair share of big games for club and country but Henderson has sized up the Danes and reckons Wednesday night’s clash might just top the lot.
“We need to continue that for the next few days going into the biggest game of our lives on Wednesday and give absolutely everything to try and get to the final," he added.
“We’ve always felt we’re continuing to grow and improve as a team and that’s important. I feel we’re ready to take the next step but it will be a really tough test against Denmark, they’re a very good side.
“We played against them not too long ago, they’re a good side and we’ll need to be at our very best to progress to the final. Hopefully we can do that and get the right result.”