England striker hopes to take his club form into World Cup qualifying deciders
says his recent run of form has been a blessing - helped by his faith and hard work.
The Liverpool striker has been making waves at club level, scoring eight times in nine appearances this season, adding to his 12 in 16 for the Reds last campaign.
However, two separate injuries have prevented him from replicating that for England and hopes his time has now arrived as the Three Lions look to secure a place at next summer’s World Cup
Roy Hodgson’s men face Montenegro and Poland in the next few days, both at Wembley Stadium, and two wins will send them to Brazil.
And the modest 24-year-old says he’s ready and raring to go after missing England’s last four games.
“At the moment, things are going well and I’ve been blessed by god to have this sort of form and my faith in god has got me to where I am today,” Sturridge told TheFA.com.
“Hard work is what it’s all about. It’s important to work hard, to work hard for the team. It’s important to do your job and give everything on the football field until the end of the game and that’s what I try to do.
“I’m feeling good. Everyone is positive going into the games, we’re raring to go and just want to get into that first game and get a result.”
Sturridge, whose only England goal came against San Marino in March
, added: “I was devastated not being able to be in the games [last month], because it was a big opportunity for me. I don’t think people realise what it means for someone like me to be here, to be in the squad.
“It was a big blow for me and I felt it was a big opportunity for me mentally and I wanted to show what I can do.”
Sturridge was not the only England forward missing from their last double-header against Moldova and Ukraine. Even though they managed to collect four points to take them to the top of Group H, Hodgson was without Wayne Rooney for both games, while Danny Welbeck was suspended for the trip to Kiev.
All three are in the mix for Friday’s night’s meeting with Montenegro, along with Jermain Defoe and Rickie Lambert, who have both scored two goals in their last three England outings.
The former Chelsea and Manchester City forward believes there is a great mix of offensive talent from which Hodgson can select ahead of two massive qualifiers.
“I think we all have different qualities, we all have different attributes that the manager will look to use,” he said. “Whichever players he feels are best to play in the game are the ones he’ll choose to play. Everyone brings something different to the table.
“We all get along and it’s the competitive nature that we have as footballers, generally speaking, but it’s not about being negative or being jealous of anybody. It’s about embracing the fact that everybody is different, players can get their opportunities.”
Sturridge continued: “I’ve had to wait a long time for mine, and it’s all about working hard. You look at Rickie and how long it’s taken him to get to this level. You’ve got guys like Wayne who have been doing it for years, same with Jermain, and Welbs has been involved in squads a lot and has been doing well.
“It’s great to be here and for everyone to be together and have the banter and camaraderie. It’s never been about being jealous of anybody or about being stressed about not getting your opportunity. You know that when you do get your opportunity you’ve earned it and deserve to be on the football field.”
He added: “These are two very important games, the most important games because of the position that everybody in the group is in. We have four teams who can all qualify.
“We are one of those at the top of the pile at the moment and, god-willing, we can continue the form that the players have shown in the games and we can bring that together in the England squad and get two great results in the next couple of games.
“It’s everybody’s dream to play in a World Cup and it’s certainly mine.”
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