Sturridge wants place on plane
Friday, 25 March, 2011
Daniel Sturridge is keen to secure a spot in Euro 2011 squad.
By Jamie Bradbury
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After a man-of-the-match performance in Denmark on Thursday night, Daniel Sturridge is desperate to secure a place on the plane when England Under-21s return there in June.
Sturridge has been flying since moving from Chelsea to Bolton Wanderers on loan and took the form that has seen him bag four goals in six games in the Premier League into the Three Lions encounter with the Euro 2011 hosts in Viborg.
The 21-year-old scored one and set up another in the 4-0 victory (click to watch highlights) and his all-round performance, operating in a free-role behind striker Danny Welbeck, highlioghted his desire to impress Coach Stuart Pearce and cement a place in his final squad of 23 who will represent England in this summer’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
“The team performance today was fantastic and we all worked hard together,” Sturridge told FATV shortly after the match (click to watch full interview). “Before the game the manager said to go out there and play as a team and work hard as a team and everything will far into place. It was good to come out here and to get a win that was so emphatic was fantastic for us.
“The manager’s got me playing in a free role where I can roam around the pitch and get on the ball and it was really good out there for me today. I enjoyed it. I just wanted to get out there and help my team mates and win the game and that was the most important thing to do.”
Welbeck has formed a good understanding with front-runner Welbeck, and he praised the Sunderland man for the goal that gave England a half-time lead.
“It was a great first touch and finish and he put it in the roof of the net. From there it gave us the momentum to go on,” he said. “We came in at half time and wanted to put our stamp on the game because the first half performance wasn’t as good as it could have been.
The home side thought they’d got themselves back in the game just after the turn-around, but Nicolai Jorgensen’s tidy finish was ruled out for offside. And it was a very narrow decision.
But the Three Lions responded, first through Scott Sinclair, latching on to a parry by keeper Jonas Lossi after Sturridge had delivered in a fizzing low shot, then Sturridge himself made it 3-0. Jordan Henderson wrapped up the win with the final goal with 18 minutes left.
“It was a difficult time for us in that moment when they scored the goal, and they were putting us under a bit of pressure. But we rode the storm a little and in the end we played really well and will go home happy with the performance.”
“It was a fantastic ball from Tom Cleverley and I didn’t think I’d get the opportunity to shoot because the defender came across so quickly when I was on my left. I had to get back on my right foot and knock a shot towards goal. I think there was a little deflection and the keeper was off balance, but I was delighted to score the goal.”
He continued: “The whole team is capable of scoring goals and I think it was great for everyone to get on the score sheet tonight to show that it’s not just the wingers and the attacking players who score the goals. We’ve got goals from everywhere in this team and we’ve got strength in depth.”
And after two friendly defeats in succession, since qualification was assured in Romania in October, Sturridge hopes that the victory in Viborg, where England will meet Czech Rpeublic in their last group game on 19 June, will help lift confidence and spur them on to the Finals.
“The most important thing was that we won tonight. We wanted to go into the Championship with confidence after the last game where we had a very difficult game. It was good for us as the last two games we’ve not won, but to win so well we’ll go to the Championship with a lot of confidence.
“The main thing for me is to go out there in a Bolton shirt and try to show the manager here that I can make it to the Championship. No one’s place is guaranteed and I just want to show him from now until the end of the season that I should be on the plane.
He added: “I really want to go, so all being well and I’m fit and able to go and the manager selects me then I’ll definitely be on the plane going over.”
Next up for England on Monday is a game against Iceland at Preston. Tickets for the match at Deepdale are still available priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children and are available from the ticket office, over the phone on 0844 856 1966 and online at www.mypne.com .