• Premier League

Rodgers criticises Sturridge fitness

ESPN staff
November 25, 2013 « Clarke fined for 'broken arm' comment towards Anderson | Chartbeat test »
Getting to know Daniel Sturridge

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has questioned Daniel Sturridge's fitness levels and attitude, after confirming the striker was dropped for Saturday's Merseyside derby following a lacklustre showing in training on Friday.

Sturridge played for England against Germany last Tuesday despite carrying a leg injury, with Rodgers suggesting that Wembley appearance and the attitude of the 24-year-old striker contributed to his absence from his starting line-up for the game at Goodison Park.

The striker came off the bench to snatch a dramatic equaliser in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Everton, yet Rodgers was less than fulsome in his praise of his match-saver as he spoke to reporters.

"I need everyone as close to 100% as I possibly can. He is clearly not," Rodgers said. "It was disappointing because you come to Goodison and you want your players firing.

"I am looking at him in training on Friday and he is not right. Whose responsibility is that? It is the [English Football] Association, the player.

"All I can do is look and assess who will give me absolutely everything when they go out on the field. There is a trend. There are maybe some games when he hasn't played well and that has happened on the back of not training.

"It is very simple for me. With any player, you have to put yourself on the training field. If you do that, you will be in with a chance of playing.

"Jon Flanagan was immense. He will be in a derby that is shown in 30 years' time because of his desire and will to put himself out there every day. If you don't do that, there is a consequence - you don't play. If you want to be a champion, if you want to win things, you have to be ready. For this game I just felt Daniel wasn't ready."

Sturridge will get his chance to make a better impression on the Liverpool manager over the course of the next few days ahead of the trip to Hull next Sunday.

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