Daniel Sturridge has put holding down a place in the Chelsea side above selection for the full England squad as his main ambition for this season, whereas team-mate Ashley Cole backs the striker to represent his nation.
The players were speaking at Thursday evening’s ‘An Audience With…’ event at Stamford Bridge. The two are very good friends, as demonstrated by a mix of complements, banter and teasing between them on the night but Cole did not hold back on praise when it came to describing his younger colleague’s quality on the pitch.
‘He [Sturridge] is one of the hardest guys to mark in training because of the speed he plays at,’ said the left-back.
‘He can go inside and outside and he is strong. He should have been in the last England squad and if he keeps doing what he is doing he will be in the squad for Euro 2012, no problem at all.’
‘If England comes and I play for England then great,’ stated Sturridge, ‘but I am not really worried about playing for England, it is not something I am really stressing about. My main focus is to play for Chelsea every week and if I can do that then I am happy.
‘It has been a long time I have been playing at Chelsea now and I have not been playing regularly so for me the most important thing is to be playing regularly.
‘I could play a lot better than I am and I am getting used to the position out wide. I enjoy playing there.’
Sturridge has done well to make such an impact already this season, given that he missed the first three league game due to a red card suffered on loan at Bolton, a situation he deeply regretted, as he told the Chelsea fans present.
‘I was absolutely devastated just sitting there watching and thinking if I was out there now maybe I could do something.
‘It is the worse feeling in the world, watching when you could be out there.
‘I did a stupid challenge [for the sending off] but I didn’t go out there to hurt anyone and I am not the best tackler out there. I am never going to do a sliding tackle like that again, I don’t know what went through my head.’
Read the full story on the Chelsea FC website.
By Clare Smith