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I owe Rooney, says Sturridge

ESPN staff
March 14, 2014 « Cech: We can handle the pressure | Chartbeat test »
Raph Honigstein explains why Manchester United and Liverpool should not be compared

Daniel Sturridge admits he owes a debt of gratitude to Wayne Rooney for the part he has played in the Liverpool striker's blossoming career.

The 24-year-old has scored 21 goals for Brendan Rodgers' side this season and has formed a formidable strike partnership with Luis Suarez.

England will be hopeful Sturridge can form just as deadly a union with Rooney at the World Cup and the former Manchester City and Chelsea player revealed he has learned a lot from the Manchester United forward.

"Wayne is a very nice guy and he is someone who helps me out a lot," Sturridge said.

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Sturridge wins the Player of the Month award for the second time this season © Premier League
  • Daniel Sturridge has been named the Premier League's Player of the Month for February.
  • The Liverpool striker's five goals and two assists in five league matches last month earned him the award for the second time this season, having previously won it back in August.
  • West Ham's Sam Allardyce was named Manager of the Month for the fifth time in his career, having won it four times when in charge of Bolton Wanderers.

"He helped me score my first goal for England at Wembley when he gave me the penalty against Montenegro and he has been so helpful, he has helped my career in terms of advice and I'm thankful to him.

"Myself and Wayne have been training hard together - we get on very well off the field and have a lot of banter together.

"When we get on the pitch we do the job the best we can and work for each other and the country. We just want to try and help the country be successful, that is the most important thing for everyone."

Sturridge scored the winner in England's 1-0 friendly victory over Denmark last week to continue his fine run of form and will be looking to add further goals when Liverpool try to inflict more misery on United and their manager David Moyes on Sunday.

However, with nine games remaining after the Old Trafford showdown, Sturridge does not believe the match will make or break their title tilt.

"To be honest there are so many games left," he said.

"We have got Chelsea and Manchester City at home, we have got Tottenham at home. We have got big games regardless of the Manchester United result.

"Of course we want to do as well as we can in every single game and get maximum points if we can but it is important we keep playing the football we do.

"I don't think winning at the weekend is going to change anything in regards to the title race, we are still four points behind and there are still teams ahead of us.

"Chelsea and Manchester City, if they win their games in hand, are the favourites for me so I would just say that we are looking to play our football."

Sturridge and Suarez are likely to be named in Rodgers' team at United and their formidable partnership will not be underestimated, not least because of the obvious understanding they have developed.

"I think that when I was growing up 4-4-2 was a more prominent formation and it was one that everyone used to play," Sturridge said.

"I grew up studying Arsenal players - Thierry Henry had Dennis Bergkamp playing with him - it was [Dwight] Yorke and [Andy] Cole, [Alan] Shearer and [Chris] Sutton and there were a lot of well-known partnerships out there.

"Nowadays it is not so prominent but for Luis and me, when I first joined the club we just clicked from the first day and ever since then it has been something that has continued."

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