Friday 10 April 2015 18:51, UK
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge says he is 100 per cent behind under-fire Raheem Sterling and wants the England winger to stay at the club.
Speaking at the Anfield launch of next season's New Balance kit, Sturridge said Sterling, who is stalling on a reported £100,000-a-week contract offer, will only be happy if he remains a first-team fixture.
"I don't know what Raheem wants to do but it is just important to be able to play regularly," said the former Chelsea striker.
"As long as he is playing regularly he will be happy. I don't think it is anything to with anything other than that and I hope he will stay at the club.
As long as he is playing regularly he will be happy - I don't think it is anything to with anything other than that and I hope he will stay at the club.
"It is important, regardless of who you are, to show what you can do - not just for Raheem but any young player. It is important to play games and gain experience so whatever decision he makes I am behind him 100 per cent."
Sturridge, who has scored four times in 15 games since returning from a long-term thigh problem in January, believes he will not be seen at his best until he has a full pre-season under his belt.
"It has taken time to get back into the groove," said Sturridge, who scored 24 goals while partnering Luis Suarez up front last season.
"I have missed a lengthy time and gaining sharpness while playing games is not easy in a league like the Premier League - you can't ease yourself back in because the games are very fast.
"It has been a difficult season in terms of the injuries but I know I will come back strong and get back to exactly how I was performing before. It is going to take time, it is not going to happen overnight, I understand that.
"It is the sharpness and fitness side of things. It takes a long time and that is the whole point of having a long pre-season.
"I am looking forward to helping the team this season and towards next season I will be right back to where I was, because I would have had a pre-season. I will be back to the sharpness and fitness levels I had before."