Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has implored fans to be patient with Daniel Sturridge…
Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he still has concerns over Daniel Sturridge’s fitness, and has told reporters that he’ll continue to manage the striker’s game time as he steps up his return from injury.
Several critics questioned Rodgers’ decision to withdraw his star striker on Thursday evening, when his team were chasing an away goal that would have almost certainly sent us through to the next round of the Europa League.
Liverpool were beaten 1-0 on the night by Besiktas in Istanbul, sending the tie to extra time and penalties. The Turkish giants won 5-4 on spot kicks, with Dejan Lovren the only man to miss.
However, the Northern Irishman has hit back, explaining that it would be foolish to risk tiring out the 25-year-old when he’s only recently returned from a five month spell on the sidelines due to injury.
Rodgers, who was quoted by the Daily Mirror, said: “We have to manage Daniel. He had given everything in the game.
“This is a player who is coming back from five months out injured, who is still gaining fitness in games, and we have to be really careful he doesn’t break. Daniel’s history shows that as he has a past in terms of injuries.
“There has been very little training in between games. He had no more left in his legs and we needed to take him off to prevent him getting an injury when he was very tired.”
Despite Rodgers’ concerns, Daniel Sturridge is likely to start when Liverpool take on Manchester City later today.