Liverpool: Jordan Henderson backs Adam Lallana to shine after tough start to Anfield career
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson expects big things from Adam Lallana in the coming campaign as his fellow England international has benefited from playing a full part in pre-season.
Shortly after his move from Southampton last summer Lallana sustained a knee injury which cut short his preparation time with the squad and delayed his debut until mid-September.
He was dogged by niggling injuries and fitness concerns throughout his first year at Anfield and that impacted on how effective he could be, but Henderson hopes to see a different player now.
"Last pre-season he got an injury so he didn't really have a good pre-season under his belt, and when he came back he was always trying to fight and get back fit and he then picked up one or two niggles during the season," said Henderson.
"I felt a bit sorry for him last season but Adam is a top player. He's got great quality and he's got great knowledge of the game.
"He's a good lad as well and I'm sure he will work really hard this pre-season and come the first game of the season I'm sure he will be flying.
"I've told him that I'm expecting big things from him this season.
"We see every day in training what he's capable of. We saw glimpses of it last season but those injuries sort of knocked him off track a little bit, but I've told him this season is his season.
"It's a big season for him, he knows that, but I'm sure he's got more than enough ability and enough work rate to achieve that."
Managing the expectation is often the biggest adjustment players who arrive at the club face and those who did not have the best debut campaign are immediately put under more scrutiny for the start of their second season.
However, Lallana has already shown in flashes what he is capable of and Henderson believes the 27-year-old can cope with the extra pressure of producing on a regular basis.
"Deep down he knows this is a big season. It's a big season for everyone, not just Adam, and it's a big season for the whole team," Henderson said.