Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has hit out at critics of his work rate, insisting he has a responsibility to score and create goals.
Sturridge has found himself marginalised at Liverpool, first due to a series of injuries and now with Roberto Firmino preferred in the striker’s role within Jurgen Klopp’s tactical plans. He has started just four Premier League games this season and has yet to score, with all his goals coming in the EFL Cup.
But he has started all three games since Gareth Southgate’s arrival as interim England manager, scoring in last month’s wins over Malta and Friday’s 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.
Asked about the perception that he does not offer enough around the park, Sturridge said: “I don’t worry about that, it’s an unfair opinion. I feel that I contribute to the team with assists and goals. It doesn’t really matter what people say to me.
“It’s about positional awareness at the end of the day. My job is to score and my job is to create for the team and coming into the midfield positions is maybe too deep.
“I feel that if I’m coming short and I’m trying to get involved in the game then there’s no one up front in the forward positions.
“It’s important to have a focal point of the team. If I drop deep and come on the ball, do skills and take people on there’s no one in the centre-forward position.
“That’s where I need to be, in between the lines, threatening the centre-halves, pushing them back and creating space for the other people.
“Sometimes I have to drop in there to maybe give them a different picture to create more problems but, again, it’s about being in the box. That is where I need to be.”
England take on Spain at Wembley on Tuesday, and with Harry Kane returning to Spurs to continue working on his fitness it means Sturridge could start again.
“He’s got a lot of faith in me and I’m trying to replay him as best I can by performing well in the games,” Sturridge said. “It’s important for every player, for the manager to have confidence in them. So it’s great.
“Goals are what I enjoy doing but it’s the team that matters. As long as we win games and you’re part of that result you move forward and you have confidence.
“But it’s great to contribute with goals because all strikers want to score.”
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