Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has vowed to stick by Daniel Sturridge, despite the striker's continued injury problems.
England striker Sturridge missed the opening game of the season with a hip problem but returned in Saturday's 2-0 Premier League defeat at Burnley, playing on the left of a front-three.
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"Daniel is still a very quick player but he's had a lot of injuries in the last few years and a few muscle issues - I have no idea how this exactly changes the mind of a player," said Klopp.
"He is still on the way back, but he is still an outstanding player, and even an outstanding player needs rhythm. Saturday was not the best game of football Daniel has ever played but, even in a game like this, he could have scored.
"I don't compare him with the younger Daniel Sturridge. He is a really good player with all you need, when he is fit. Obviously there is a bit I can do to help him but you have to accept as a manager that it is really rare you can say 100 per cent what a player wants to hear.
"What I can say, to any player, is that those who stay in the race and work really hard will get the benefit. That is how it is. Sometimes it is a little bit harder, sometimes easier, but that is the same for all of us."
With no European football this season, Klopp will not have to worry about rotating his squad over 63 matches in all competitions, which is what his team played last term.
"It is not about not being in Europe, so one cup is important," Klopp added. "This is important. How can we be more than 100 per cent ambitious?
"I know we have never shown a lack of respect to any competition and, in this moment, I am really optimistic we will find a really good line-up and then we have to perform.
"But there is always this kind of pressure, whether we are in Europe or not."