Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

I don't care how Liverpool win games: Daniel Sturridge

He knows the score: Daniel Sturridge celebrates his goal against Sunderland, his 20th in the league this season for Liverpool
He knows the score: Daniel Sturridge celebrates his goal against Sunderland, his 20th in the league this season for Liverpool

Liverpool's fluid, goal-laden performances may have set up a title challenge, but striker Daniel Sturridge admits ultimately results will be the only thing which gets them over the line.

The 2-1 win over Sunderland, the Reds' seventh in succession, was not without its anxious moments, but having come through that scare they have leaders Chelsea, just one point ahead, firmly in their sights.

Brendan Rodgers' side are the top flight's leading scorers with 84 goals, but Sturridge accepts they may require more displays like that against the struggling Black Cats if they are stand a chance of ending a 24-year wait for the title.

"There are seven games to go and each one will be difficult and different in its own way," said the England international.

"For me I don't get too excited, I just take each game as it comes as it is different opposition, different styles of play and we have to change the way we play against each team to try to get the result by whichever means necessary.

"It wasn't easy. It never is when a team defends so deep and puts so many bodies behind the ball, but in the first half we were patient and we worked hard to break them down and in the end we got the result we needed.

"Our back four defended well and we just try our best to do a job in front of them and they focus on doing their job.

"You have to grind results out sometimes. You have to do the dirty things to get the result you want, it is not always going to be easy."

Captain Steven Gerrard's free-kick was followed by Sturridge's 20th league goal of the season; the first time in 50 years two Liverpool players (Luis Suarez has 28) have reached that tally.

It was Sturridge's 30th league goal for the club in 37 games, which is quicker than any other Reds player since George Allan in 1896 and he has 34 in 43 matches in all competitions since joining from Chelsea for £12m in January 2013.

However, the 24-year-old is not interested in personal milestones.

"The success of the team is more important to me. It's not about myself," he added.

"We're all trying our best to do our jobs for the team. It was great to get the three points – that's the most important thing at this stage of the season."

Liverpool effectively have to win their remaining seven matches to stand a chance of lifting their first Premier League title, especially with Manchester City two points behind with two matches in hand.

Tottenham, demolished 5-0 at White Hart Lane in December, are the visitors on Sunday and Sturridge knows they cannot afford any slip-ups.

"We just need to continue working hard as a team and keep getting the job done," he said.

"It's important to take each game as it comes and not get too excited at the same time and try to get results in every game we can.

"We can't worry about the opposition. We just need to worry about how we play and do as well as we can."

Sunderland remain three points from safety, having taken just one point since victory in the Tyne-Wear derby on February 1, and Monday's visit of West Ham takes on huge significance.

"We need to take what we have done here into the next game; that's what's most important," said manager Gus Poyet.

"We can't just keep playing like this every now and again and then not perform at home.

"A result against West Ham would be perfect because we have shown the type of attitude to go out and score goals and try to win the game and I want to see it again.

"I've learned a lot. I've only been at the club for a few months and every game is different."

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