BRENDAN RODGERS believes his new strike star can give Liverpool a Sturr-Lift up the Premier League table.
New £12m signing Daniel Sturridge scored his second goal in his second match at Old Trafford on Sunday, and Rodgers hailed the “different dimension” the pacy forward will offer.
The Reds boss was also encouraged by the instant link-up play between Sturridge and Luis Suarez – as Liverpool’s SAS strikeforce laid siege to Manchester United’s goal in the second half.
“He gave us a different dimension, real pace, working on the shoulder of the last defender and every time he’s in the box you just sense that he can get a goal,” said Rodgers. “I think good players enjoy playing with each other.
“With Daniel coming in I think everybody recognises we have a good player who is 23 years of age and has his best years ahead of him.
“You see him today – and he’s not even fully fit yet – he’s going to be a real handful.
“For us going forward, he and one or two of the other players are going to be the real difference.
“What we’ve got in those players is that they’re all flexible. Fabio Borini can play through the middle or off the side. We’ve seen Luis Suarez playing central all season, but he’s played off the side during his career, and likewise Daniel.
“It’s about getting good players onto the field who can fit into the model and the structure. The shape of the team you shouldn’t see so much when you’ve got the ball – it’s more when you haven’t got it.”
Rodgers admitted that Sturridge’s lack of games in recent months was the only reason he hadn’t started at Old Trafford,
But with a full week’s training under his belt this week he could be set for his full Premier League debut for the Reds when Norwich City visit Anfield on Saturday.
“Daniel was terrific, but we’ve won seven of our last nine games so the team has been doing well and the players have been doing well,” explained Rodgers.
“It’s just a feeling that you get.
“Of course if I’d thought he could have lasted the game then we’d have put him in.
“I thought we’d start trying to be solid and tight, while still creating chances, then once the game opened up a bit Daniel could come on with his pace and power and affect the game.
“But I thought he was terrific second half.”
Rodgers added: “It’s important you have balance as well.
“For me that’s the challenge. I want to have good players in the club and keep building our squad, but there needs to be balance as well.
“The players that we’re bringing in need to be flexible, be able to play in a number of different positions.
“It’s important then that everyone knows their job when they haven’t got the ball and we showed that in the second half.”