Sturridge Ready To Start? Rodgers Offers An Update On Striker

By on February 2, 2015

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he will continue to be cautious with Daniel Sturridge despite the strikers goal-scoring return to action at the weekend.

Having spent five months on the sidelines through injury, Sturridge made his first appearance for the Reds since late August after coming off the bench to make an impressive 20 minute cameo against West Ham at Anfield on Saturday.

After such a long time out, you’d have forgiven the 25-year-old if he was showing signs of being rusty, but he looked sharp and sealed the three points with a well-taken goal 10 minutes from time.

Some fans have been hoping Sturridge may now be ready to start either against Bolton in Wednesday’s FA Cup fourth round replay or against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

However, Rodgers has confirmed that he will continue to tread carefully with the striker and won’t consider using him from the start for the next ‘two to three weeks’, but feels the England international will be a dangerous option to have on the bench.

The Northern Irishman told Liverpoolfc.com:

“He’s still a bit of time off starting. You saw in the period when he came on, he was still getting used to the surroundings again in the 25 minutes or so he had on the pitch, so it’s just about bedding him back in.

“But to know that he’s there over the next two to three weeks, when it will be about regaining his football fitness and until he’s ready to start, he’s going to be a great asset for us off the bench.

“We need to assess it over the next week again but obviously we’ve got games and he’ll be getting his football fitness in those games. It takes a bit of time and he’s been out for a long spell so we just want to make sure that he’s ready and fit to start.”

“I think you’ve got a genuine top European talent in Daniel Sturridge,”

“If you put him onto the field, everyone knows his pace and that will always frighten teams.

“A back four when you put Sturridge on, the power that he has and that ability to go either way which you see from the goal, that came taking a great touch on his weaker side and a wonderful finish.

“He lights up this team. He provides the light. When you add a top-class player like him to it, you can go to another level. When he came on in that period the team looked very, very good.”

It certainly makes sense for Liverpool not to push Sturridge too soon as he missed practically the entire first half of the season so he’s going to have to build his match fitness up gradually over the next few weeks.

However, there’s no doubt it’s a huge boost for Rodgers and Liverpool to have him back as they look a completely different team with Sturridge on the pitch, and I’m sure he’ll get the best out of the likes of Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho during the second half of the season.

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