Sturridge: Good tourist? I’m not here for a holiday

Date published: Wednesday 8th June 2016 9:19

Daniel Sturridge is confident he can contribute to the England cause at Euro 2016, even if he fails to win a starting spot.

The emergence of Jamie Vardy and the continued excellence of Harry Kane means Sturridge is unlikely to start for England in their opener against Russia, especially with captain Wayne Rooney certain to play from the off.

With Marcus Rashford also in the squad, at least two of the five strikers named by Roy Hodgson will likely be on the bench in Marseille this Saturday.

But the Football Association’s motto for the tournament is ‘Together for England’ and Hodgson expects a collaborative attitude from those who do not make the XI in Marseille.

Sturridge was pictured using his mobile phone in the stand during England’s 2-1 friendly win over Australia – a game he missed with injury – and there have been doubts over whether he is suited to being part of a supporting cast.

The Liverpool man explained his reasons for being preoccupied that night, related to the work of his eponymous charitable foundation, and vowed to do his best for the team whatever the role.

“We can’t win this thing if there’s egos or problems in the camp,” he said.

“It’s about us being here as a team. I look at other countries in many competitions and when they score everyone is off the bench and they are all involved, all jumping on each other celebrating – and that’s how we have to be.

“We have to be a team. It’s very important, on and off the pitch.

“We don’t have our mums, dads, kids and all those things here. So we’re our family and we have to be together.

“It’s not about ‘I have to play’ or ‘he has to play’. If we’re not here as a nation, and as a team together, we won’t win it. That’s how it is.”

Sturridge’s all-for-one outlook did not stretch as far as agreeing to play the role of ‘good tourist’ though.

“I’m not here for a holiday,” was his response when the notion was floated.

“Nobody wants to sit on the bench. I want to play, of course, but it’s down to the manager to choose his team and I have to understand that.”

Elaborating on his preoccupation at the Stadium of Light, he stressed it was far from a case of indifference to events on the pitch.

“It was my first annual charity event in Birmingham that night,” he said.

“My family had put the event on and they were texting me the whole night. It’s important to watch my team-mates play but if I receive a text message about my charity event, of course I’m going to reply to it.

“I’m trying to do something positive for my community in Birmingham as well as in Jamaica. Of course I want my team-mates to do well and there was no disrespect at all.”


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