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Sturridge apologises for title failure

ESPN staff
May 12, 2014 « Van Gaal: I'll make history at United | WILL TEST Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Rodgers: I'm proud of a season of real progress

Daniel Sturridge has apologised to Liverpool's "deserving" fans after Brendan Rodgers' side failed to clinch the Premier League title after having it in their grasp.

They ended up finishing second, two points behind champions Manchester City, having been in the driving seat in the title race before losing 2-0 at home to Chelsea three games from the end.

Sturridge said: "We're all hungry for success and the fans deserve success. They've given us great support from the first minute to the last and I apologise to them for not winning the Premier League.

"I'll do everything in my power, just like my team-mates will, to try to ensure we do that for them next season. I believe we can."

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Liverpool's defeat by Chelsea was swiftly followed by a 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace, after they had been three goals to the good, with City's 4-0 win over Aston Villa ensuring they needed just a point on the final day at home to West Ham.

City duly won 2-0, rendering Liverpool's 2-1 win at home to Newcastle meaningless, but Sturridge has echoed the comments of his manager Brendan Rodgers and captain Steven Gerrard by saying they can make amends next season.

"I'm disappointed," Sturridge, who won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2010, told the Liverpool Echo. "I know we set the target of reaching the Champions League but I can't stand here and say I'm happy.

"I am gutted. I know we've gone from seventh [in 2012-13] to second but I am never happy coming second no matter what I'm playing, whether it's table tennis, cricket or whatever, I don't like losing."

Despite missing out on the title, Liverpool ensured a place in next season's Champions League group stages - returning to a competition in which they last played in 2009 - and Sturridge feels they can combine the demands of European football with a title challenge.

"People can make excuses about how we had an advantage because we weren't in Europe this season but I know we will be contenders again next season," added Sturridge, who scored his 21st league goal of the season on Sunday at Anfield.

"We will take the positives from this season and learn from the negatives. Next season will be a big year for us and we're looking forward to that already.

"This squad is unbelievable. We've done really well and I fully expect us to push on again next season.

"This experience will stand us in good stead for next season. I believe we will challenge. I am sure the manager will buy players who he believes can push us on to the next level.

"With whoever comes in together with the great players we already have here, I am sure we will do well next season."

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