London - Daniel Sturridge admitted it was a sweet moment to
score England's winner against Denmark after his troubled road to the top.
Sturridge is finally fulfilling his vast potential after
struggling to make an impact earlier in his career and the striker's late
header to see off the Danes in a 1-0 friendly victory at Wembley on Wednesday
was the latest sign of his huge improvement since joining Liverpool in January
The 24-year-old has formed a brilliant partnership with Luis
Suarez at Anfield, scoring 23 goals for club and country this season, including
12 in his last 12 games.
That prolific form has almost certainly guaranteed Sturridge
a place in England's World Cup squad and it would be a surprise if he isn't in
the starting line-up for the first group fixture against Italy.
Sturridge's rise is especially impressive because he
suffered so much frustration during his spells at Manchester City and Chelsea.
After making some eye-catching appearances as a youngster
with City, it appeared Sturridge was destined for immediate stardom.
Yet concerns over a lack of maturity saw him squeezed out at
Eastlands and he joined Chelsea hopeful of a fresh start in 2009.
However, he fared no better at Stamford Bridge and was
regarded as a gifted but difficult player in danger of wasting his talent when
he was sold to Liverpool after scoring just 13 goals in 63 league appearances
for the Blues.
"It's about getting opportunities," Sturridge
"I'm blessed but I'm not getting carried away. There
were some difficult times in the past but I'm just staying humble."
While Sturridge's goals rightly earn him the headlines, it
is his growing awareness that the team is more important than his personal
success which is especially striking.
He was asked to play all across England's three-man forward
line rather than just in his preferred central role and responded to boss Roy
Hodgson's request in diligent fashion on and off the pitch.
"Whichever system the manager plays me in, I will put
my all into it, 100 per cent," Sturridge said.
"It does not matter where I play on the field, it is
about making a difference, making an impact and I will just keep trying to get
goals and assists from whatever position I am in.
"It is about the team, it is not about me, or where I
am on the pitch, questioning about what the manager is doing, it is about doing
what the manager says and wherever he puts me I will do my best for him."
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