Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has said he was “not really” worried about the threat of the Premier League season being voided.
Having come so close to their first league title last season with a club-record haul of 97 Premier League points, there were serious concerns that an even greater effort this term would again end in defeat.
Jurgen Klopp‘s team had won 27 out of 29 in the top flight and had a 25-point lead over nearest challengers Manchester City before the campaign was brought to an abrupt halt due to the growing health crisis.
There were calls from many for the season to be voided – despite Liverpool‘s lead – to avoid sorting out the issue of relegation, although football’s authorities have now firmly stamped out that idea.
In fact, the Premier League is now set to return on June 17 after weeks of meetings and decisions that – in the league’s eyes – will make football the “safest part of society”.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Henderson insisted that he was never worried about the prospect of the league finishing without another game being played.
“Not really,” he stated when asked if he had concerns about the season being declared null and void.
“I think obviously for us we still think we’ve got work to do, and we have. We’ve got nine games left and we want to win as many of them as possible.
“And that was all our focus was on really in terms of just wanting to get back and waiting for the right time to go back.
“I was always under the impression that, not only for us but for the rest of the league, it needed finishing at some point.”
It was accepted at the start of negotiations that a behind-closed-doors model would have to be used, before several clubs voiced concerns about neutral venues being used to avoid overcrowding outside stadiums.
And after authorities showed a willingness to use clubs’ own stadiums, the police requested that certain “high-risk” games – including the Merseyside derby and the game in which Liverpool could win the title – will have to be played elsewhere.
Aside from the conflict over neutral venues, the Premier League’s partnership with Hong Kong-based private laboratory Prenetics has allowed a testing regime to be implemented.
Four rounds of testing have been done, with the latest tests – conducted on 1,130 players and club personnel – producing zero positive results.