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Jordan Henderson had an international mentality as Coventry City player

16 May 2014

We dig out an interview from Jordan Henderson's loan spell which highlights the mentality which has put him on the plane to Brazil

It's been five years since England midfielder Jordan Henderson pulled on a Coventry City jersey.

Arriving on loan from Sunderland as a fresh-faced 18-year-old in January 2009 he was very much an unknown quantity among the stands, hoping to make an impression.

That he did. And to those who saw him play for City, even for a short time, his rise from young hopeful to a key component in the nation's hopes for World Cup success will probably come as little surprise.

Henderson was this week named in England manager Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

His form for a Liverpool side that came within a whisker of their first top flight league title in 24 years no doubt played a huge role in Hodgson's decision to give him a seat on the plane.

But where did it all start for Henderson? Prior to his arrival at City, he had made two appearances for the Black Cats but he went back to play more than 80 times in the Premier League for his boyhood club over the next two campaigns.

A big-money move to Liverpool followed and the rest, they say, is history.

Going through our archives, it was pretty clear early on that the Sky Blues had, even if only for a short time, a player who was determined to make it at the top level.

Read some excerpts below from an 18-year-old Jordan Henderson who spoke to our official club matchday programme and did not waste any time in underlining what he hoped to achieve...

“In the past, when you are young, you are told to play good football and the result is not all-important. I think winning is just inside you.

"(Sunderland manager) Roy Keane took a really close eye on that. In training, he would look at which teams were winning, which players were winning and that’s all he cared about.

“Whether it was table tennis, golf or tennis, he just wanted to win!

“A lot of sports people are like that. I just hate being beaten at anything. I can’t take it. It’s not very often that it happens though!"

Henderson's spell at City was the first time that he had lived away from home and, while he admitted missing his day-to-day life with family and friends, he said making the most of his time with the Sky Blues was uppermost in his mind.

He said: “You have to adapt when you are on loan. It doesn’t matter how long you are going to be here. I am here to work hard and do my best for Coventry.

“There’s a couple of ways to get a chance in the first team at your own club. You can play well week-in, week-out for the reserves and your chance might come or you can go on loan into the Championship or League One and get a few first team games under your belt there.

“Once you’ve got that bit more experience you might get your chance in the Premier League.

“Football is my life – it has been since I was a little boy. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do so I am prepared to give up everything I’ve got to become a footballer – whether that’s leaving home or leaving my friends. My number one priority is football.

“I’ve dreamt of this since I can remember and I have never wanted to do anything else."

We just want to wish Jordan, his England teammates and manager Roy Hodgson the very best of luck for their trip to Brazil!

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