Striker Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge remaining positive as he tries to fight his way back into the side after injury.
The English international scored 56 seconds after coming off the bench in the 4-1 win over Stoke in his second appearance since returning from a month out with a calf problem.
Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool are ready for Manchester City after seeing off Stoke
In his previous output – as an 82 minute substitute against Everton, helped to win the Merseyside derby with a shot against the post, which was converted by Sadio Mané, the man who can still offer you a way back into the side.
Mané, the team leading scorer with eight, has two remaining matches, against Manchester City and Sunderland, before leaving for the African Cup of Nations, and with his absence likely to be at least a month, there will be an opening in the front line.
Philippe Coutinho is also nearing full fitness after an ankle injury and the competition at that place, but Sturridge is also focused on helping the team.
“The most important thing is that I can keep my mindset as positive as possible,” he said after scoring what was his first goal of the season. “It’s a team game at the end of the day – all the world is going to be needed on the team. I have not had any problems or issues within the field.
“I’m enjoying my football and when I get my minutes I focus on myself and if I’m not on the computer that you stay positive and give my opinion when I can.”
Liverpool have now scored four or more goals in half of their eight league games at Anfield, where they have accumulated 25 in total.
Even after conceding the first goal at home for the first time this season in which he recovered in an impressive manner, assisted by some of lax Stoke defence to win comfortably.
“We never give up, we continue along the game, and we know that the hard work will pay off at some point,” Sturridge told Sky Sports. “That is the most important thing for us. It is good to play and score goals. It is important that the team maintains and puts the pressure.”
For the second match running of Jürgen Klopp praised Sturridge for his contribution.
“I was more than happy, it was a perfect goal,” said the German was able to of the way in which their striker took advantage of a backpass from Ryan Shawcross with confidence round the goalkeeper Lee Grant.
“In a situation such as this one, 3-1, but still intense, then you can use the quality of Daniel. At this time you can learn a lot of things in life, but not to be in this position at this time – that is natural and doing what he did was perfect.
“It was a wonderful goal and very important because it closes the game and gave us the chance to cool down a bit.”
Stoke manager Mark Hughes was disappointed with the way they defended, but I felt that his game plan – game of Peter Crouch and Jon Walters up front – provides a pointer for other visitors to Anfield. “I don’t think many teams come here and play two up top and not treating it very well,” he said. “I’m sure a lot of other teams look at what we do and we try to replicate”.