Daniel Sturridge: I've always pushed myself to the limits for Liverpool and will continue to do so

Daniel Sturridge: I've always pushed myself to the limits for Liverpool and will continue to do so

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge believes he has always given his all for the club and insists he still has the self-belief that he is the Reds' best striker despite struggling to establish himself as first-choice under Jürgen Klopp.

Charlie Malam

Daniel Sturridge says he has always pushed himself to the limit for Liverpool and believes he is the best striker at the club despite struggling to establish himself as first-choice. 

The England international has started just five Premier League games this season, largely playing second-fiddle to Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi, though he has still scored six goals - four coming within just three EFL Cup appearances.

But despite the frustrations of his bit-part campaign, with injuries also once again limiting the No.15's contributions at times, Sturridge insists he has always given his all for the club.

Englishman believes he's the best man to lead Liverpool's line

Speaking to Sky Sports, the prolific striker - who has scored an excellent 59 goals in 108 games for Liverpool since joining January 2013, said that "it hurts inside" not to play when he's fit.

But he accepted it as "part of the game" and said "every player past and present" has had to deal with the same, adding: "It's not time to get the violin out. You've got to dig in, fight, show your character, put your best foot forward when you're put on a football pitch and give your all when you're not on the pitch."

The 27-year-old declared that it is "simple" and "you've got to do your best" when given the opportunity, adding that there are "no qualms or complaints" from his point of view.

"I'm the best striker Liverpool has, that's my opinion," he continued. "The manager and everyone else is entitled to their opinion as well. You have to have self-belief though."

Sturridge accepted that it is his manager Jürgen Klopp who picks the team and that it is "his decision" if he "doesn't feel I'm the best striker for the job."

He added: "I have to take it on the chin. I cannot be upset about it. You have to take the rough with the smooth in football, you can never take things personally."

Sturridge confident he has always given his all for the club

The Reds frontman has become renowned for the injury problems which have derailed his career since a scintillating first 18 months in which he scored 35 goals.

But he has only followed that up with 24 goals in the three seasons since then, starting just 19 games last season after only 12 starts in the season before that.

The striker has also struggling to meet the high intensity demands of Klopp, which has led to Firmino and Origi to preferred over him despite his phenomenal goals-to-games ratio. 

On whether he feels like he hasn't played enough for Liverpool, Sturridge insisted that he has "played many games" for the Merseyside outfit and "played a lot of games" last season, reminding people that he "finished top goalscorer in all competitions."

He feels that it is "not about whether you're injured or not" and that more important for a player is "when you're on the pitch [and] what you do."

The former Chelsea and Manchester City striker admitted that he, like any other player, "wants to be available for every single game" because "every player wants to play" and "every player wants to be successful."

But he acknowledged that there are times "when you're not fit" and that "it's how you bounce back back from that" and "how you rebound and put yourself out there on the football pitch."

"Last season, regardless of the number of games I played, I still would do my best on the pitch, that is what’s important," continued Sturridge. 

He declared that "every player wears their heart on their sleeve" in terms of battling "through injuries" and revealed he has "played with injuries before" including "knocks, tears, everything."

Sturridge said: "I’ve done that [played through injury] many times and I’ll continue to do it. It's about pushing yourself to your limits for the club, and I feel I've done that."

Being benched won't affect my performance levels, vows Sturridge 

He dismissed any suggestions of any complaints at his current squad role, insisting he can only work hard to put himself into Klopp's thinking.

Sturridge said that he is "not the type of player who knocks on the manager's door" in order to "have discussions about where I fit in and what's going on."

Instead, he says he likes "to go with the flow" and that rather than "making complaints" he must concentrate on "training hard" and "putting your best foot forward" as well as "keeping your aggression inside" to "take it out on the opposition" when given the opportunity.

Asked whether it would be a mistake to suggest he doesn't care, Sturridge added: "If I complain where does it get me? It gets me nowhere. It doesn’t get anyone anywhere complaining and being a bad apple."

He explained that Klopp sees him "and every player training every day" and that it is "the same everywhere."

The only thing Sturridge believes he can do is "work your hardest" and "let your football do the talking", reiterating that he can "never take it personally" if Klopp chooses "the best 11 players for the specific opposition at that time" and he isn't included.

He also added that while it is disappointing not to play, he won't let it have any knock-on effects when he's out on the pitch.

Sturridge said he is both "an ambitious player" and "an ambitious person" who wants to "be the best" and "be known was the best striker and help my team win trophies."

"I would be lying if I said I was happy on the bench, no one wants to sit on the bench," he insisted, saying that he can't let the manager's decision-making get to him because it "could affect my performance" and then "your attitude is called into the question."

Sturridge added: "If I can start every game I’m happy. If I’m on the bench I’m an unhappy man, but it won’t affect my performance."