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Klopp urges Sturridge to earn spot

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has challenged Daniel Sturridge to regain his starting spot at the club.

Sturridge had to settle for a role off the bench as Klopp’s side earned a 1-1 draw at Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

Klopp opted for Divock Origi instead and the Belgian rewarded his manager with the first-half opener.

The German said he wanted to see Sturridge win back his place, with Liverpool hosting Stoke City in the Premier League on Sunday.

“I don’t make decisions about who, was, when. How could I?” Klopp said.

“There’s no doubt about [the] quality of Daniel Sturridge, but how can he be in his absolutely 100 per cent best shape with these long breaks in between training and matches?

“Daniel is really doing well and had absolutely no problem when he saw he will not start. There was nothing. He came in and did his job.

“In the first situation he could have scored and that’s what Daniel is. There are a lot of strikers in the club and they all need confidence, trust and faith.

“I try to give it to all but I can’t show it with line-ups in a row. I have to decide how I do it on each other position. That’s all.”

Klopp welcomed the competition for places up front, having had injuries to his strikers to contend with throughout the campaign.

The former Dortmund coach said he would make his selections on a game-by-game basis.

“That’s the best situation you can have. I don’t think they [have a] challenge between them. They have all to be in the best shape and we have to bring the player or two of them [in],” Klopp said.

“Divock and Daniel played together in Southampton, it was not too bad to be honest. It works really good.

“You need more than one striker and if all strikers are fit – which wasn’t the case most of the time – then most of the time you have to make decisions and that’s about the plan for the match.

“The more players we have available, the better it is.”

Sat 9 Apr, 2016
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