Daniel Sturridge sends defiant message to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

DANIEL STURRIDGE has sent a defiant message to Jurgen Klopp after starring for England.


Posted Monday, November 14, 2016 by Dailystar.co.uk

Daniel Sturridge sends defiant message to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Daniel Sturridge has mostly been a substitute for Liverpool this season

The Liverpool misfit has spent most of this season on the bench playing second fiddle to Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino at Anfield.

But he has become England's first-choice striker under Gareth Southgate and scored his second goal in three games for his country in Friday night's 3-0 win over Scotland.

It was his third start in a row for the Three Lions – only one less than he has had in the Premier League for Liverpool all season.

Sturridge said: "It's important for every player to have the manager's confidence. He's got a lot of faith in me. I'm trying to repay him as best as I can. It's great to score."

It was a veiled dig at Klopp, who clearly doesn't have faith that Sturridge can play his favoured pressing game.

But it showed the dilemma Sturridge is facing right now. At international level he is thriving under a manager who believes in him.

At club he level is struggling for a manager who clearly has doubts and has even criticised him in public.

Where his relationship with Klopp has often been strained, Sturridge seems perfectly at ease under Southgate.

The 27-year-old said: "He speaks with everyone. He speaks with every single player and has done throughout the camp.

"He likes to have a relationship with the players and everyone likes to speak with him."

You get the feeling that closeness is not mirrored in Klopp's relationship with Sturridge.

Yet to score in the league this season, his four goals for the Reds have come in EFL Cup wins over Tottenham and Burton.

But he is relishing the chance to shine for his country, where he is being asked to play as a more traditional centre forward, something league leaders Liverpool are currently doing without.

Sturridge has been dogged by accusations that he is too selfish throughout his career. A great goalscorer but not a great team player.

"It's unfair," he said. "I feel that I contribute to the team. I assist, I score goals.

"I'm not worried about what other people say about me.

"If I drop deep and get on the ball, do skills and take people on, then there is nobody up front and that is where I need to be.

"I need to be between the lines, threatening the centre-halves, pushing them and creating space for other people. That's why we have a No 10 and it was Wazza (Wayne Rooney). I need to make space for him.

"If I drop deep it cramps his style a bit. It's about positional awareness. It is about being involved in the game as much as possible. You have to be aware. My job is to score, to create for the team."

Next up for England is tomorrow's friendly against Spain, when Sturridge will almost certainly get another chance to continue his run.

He said: "Goals are what I enjoy doing, of course. But as long as the team wins, that is all that matters.

"Against Spain it's important we show our football and how the manager wants us to play.

"But I do think it matters about the result. I disagree with those who say the result doesn't matter. Nobody wants to see us lose. Nobody wants to see us play badly. The result is important."

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