Jordan Henderson
Manchester City's Lescott challenges Liverpool's Henderson during their English League Cup semi-final first leg match in Manchester. REUTERS

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson has targeted a return to the England senior side as he strives to prove his critics wrong after a mediocre start to his Anfield career.

Henderson, 21, joined the Reds from Sunderland in a £20m deal over the summer but has come under heavy criticism from some quarters after he failed to make the expected impact in Kenny Dalglish's first-XI.

The Liverpool midfielder won his first and only senior cap against France in 2010 but he remains adamant that he can break back into the squad in the run-up to Euro 2012.

"I don't really worry what other people think, they're entitled to their opinion," Henderson told the Telegraph. "I'm focused on what I want to achieve.

"I want to get back in the senior squad as soon as I can, but for now I make sure I play well for the under-21s and for Liverpool every week.

"Of course there's a lot of room for improvement, but I am working on it every day in training and I am focused on what I need to do. I know what I need to do and I am going to do ­everything I can to get where I want to be."

Henderson, who has scored just once in 24 appearances for Liverpool this season, was substituted during Sunday's Carling Cup final victory over Cardiff City. The 21-year-old will captain England Under-21s against Belgium on Wednesday night and insists he did not expect to be included in Stuart Pearce's squad this time around.

"I don't think it was on my mind," he added. "I knew we had an important game on Wednesday with the Under-21s and I was focused on that.

"Obviously everyone wants to play in the senior team, but this is a big game for the 21s, I'm captain and I'm looking forward to it."