Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson admits another Champions League defeat to Real Madrid will be hard to digest but believes repeating recent history isn’t such a bad thing.
In 2018, Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten 3-1 in Kyiv after two insane goals by Gareth Bale, but won a sixth European Cup 12 months later by beating Tottenham and left the next year with a first league title in 30 years .
Henderson is therefore hopeful that the 1-0 defeat at the Stade de France against a LaLiga side winning the competition for the 14th time can be a catalyst for something better next year.
“It’s still difficult to process everything now, how the game went at the end. It’s hard to talk about,” said the 31-year-old, who has still led the team to a Carabao and FA Cup double.
“I felt like we had three or four good chances and the goalkeeper (Thibaut Courtois) made world-class saves.
“Hopefully we can take a good break now and then use that to process this season and everything that has happened and use it to get going again next season when we come back.
“We had this feeling before and reacted correctly. Hopefully we can do the same thing again, I’m sure we will.
“The mentality and character in the dressing room is superb and yes we will be disappointed and it’s hard because we’ve had so much time to think about it now.
“But I can say that we gave absolutely everything throughout the season and sometimes it just doesn’t work anymore.
“The fine margins of football, that’s the way it is. We were a bit lucky in national cups on penalties when we won them. Not against Real and not in the league.
“We have to deal with that and use it and use it properly to move forward and be stronger and better next season.”
Despite a domestic cup double, a campaign that saw Liverpool play every one of the 63 games they were eligible for and the race for the Premier League title ended in the last 10 minutes of the season in a negative result and crushing disappointments in the second leg -again weekends.
But Henderson said that shouldn’t overshadow their achievements and after Klopp sent a positive message to the players in the dressing room in his post-match interviews, he urged fans to “book the hotel” for next year’s final in Istanbul.
“To be fair the manager is really good in these situations and he can see the big picture. It’s really difficult as a player,” added the Liverpool captain.
“It will take a bit of time for us but I have no doubt that we will use it properly and get better and stronger.
“We always reacted correctly and I’m sure we will do it again.
“I hope when we’re on holiday and taking a break we realize that this season has been special.
“I don’t know when we were last in a final or when the last game was in each individual competition. It shows the mentality and the talent of the team.
“We couldn’t give any more and football has very little scope left.
“It’s really difficult to stand here and be positive, but I really hope that in the next few weeks we can look back on the season, it can be a positive one.”