Saturday 29 April 2017

Klopp: 'Sturridge will shine'

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expects Daniel Sturridge to shine this season despite demoting the England striker to the bench for the 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

Sturridge expressed his frustration at playing in a wide role during the 2-0 defeat at Burnley last Saturday but at White Hart Lane he was omitted from the starting line-up altogether.

When it came to replacing Philippe Coutinho, Divock Origi was chosen - with Sturridge confined to a limited supporting role in the closing stages.

Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness stated the injury-prone England marksman has a "mountain to climb" to win his place back in the team due to the quality in the squad, but Klopp insists he will play regularly.

"Daniel Sturridge is a wonderfully skilled player, but I made the decision based on the kind of defending that was important for Tottenham," Klopp said.

"When we last played Tottenham, at home, he had an outstanding game.

"But I can only pick 11 players to start and I never make a decision like this against one player.

"I'm really happy that we have him. He will play and he will score and all will be good.

"He didn't have a a perfect pre-season, other players have played more together in pre-season and that's an advantage.

"We brought Origi on because it made sense to bring someone on for the counter attack, but we didn't find him.

"It's early in the season. A few players have rhythm, a few don't. There's no big mountain for him, Daniel.

"It's a good team so hopefully we'll choose different line-ups for different games."

James Milner was playing in the unfamiliar position of right-back but looked comfortable in his new home to the point that Klopp sees no need to strengthen his defence there in the transfer market.

"A full-back is not just a winger in offence, it's also a (number) eight in different moments, so it's a really good position for James. He has still to adapt and learn the position," he said.

"We will work on it but we are convinced he can play there, that's why we haven't signed another player in this position. I'm not surprised he can play there.

"It's early in the season and we haven't had the easiest start, but sitting here with four points from three games is not what I wanted."

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