Premier League: Jordan Henderson says Liverpool are benefiting from European absence

Jordan Henderson: Says Liverpool may have been helped by not playing in Europe

Jordan Henderson has admitted that Liverpool's absence from European competition this season may be one of the factors behind their improved form.

The Reds missed out on a place in either the UEFA Champions League or the Europa League after finishing seventh last term, and are mounting a stronger challenge for honours this time around.

They are currently six points off the pace in the title race, having been top of the table at Christmas, but Henderson feels that not having to play as many games as their rivals could give them an edge for the remainder of the campaign.

"That may have helped in terms of the extra rest it's given us," said the midfielder.

"It may be one of the factors in our improved form. When you've got a game on a Thursday and another one at the weekend, mentally it can be tough and physically it's demanding, especially when you've got to travel abroad.

Transfer Betting

Liverpool have been linked with Cristian Tello, Ryan Bertrand, Will Hughes and Juan Mata this transfer window. See Sky Bet's latest odds on the Reds signing all these and more in our Transfer Specials here.

"All our efforts can go into the Premier League and FA Cup now."

Liverpool booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup at the weekend with a 2-0 win over Oldham, and Henderson has set his sights on a long run in the competition.

He admits the pain of losing to Chelsea in the 2012 final will act as a spur for Brendan Rodgers' men.

"Losing that final against Chelsea does make you want to go back and put things right," he said.

"It was frustrating. We'd love to go back to Wembley and win. It's a big competition and we want to do well in it."