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Sep 17, 2013

Sturridge: I didn't feel fit for Swansea

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge admits he "does not feel fit", despite continuing his fine scoring form in the 2-2 draw at Swansea on Monday night.

Daniel Sturridge evades Jonjo Shelvey during the stalemate in Wales.
Sturridge evades Jonjo Shelvey during the stalemate.

Sturridge has now scored in all five of Liverpool's games this season, including a four-game scoring run in the Premier League, yet there were some eyebrows raised at his appearance on the Liverpool team-sheet after he missed both of England's World Cup qualifiers last week.

Eager to deflect suggestions that he could have played some part in his national team's crucial fixtures in Ukraine last Tuesday, Sturridge was quick to dismiss suggestions that his injury was less severe than initially suspected.

"To be honest with you, I don't feel fit," he told Sky Sports. "I only trained for the first time with the boys on Friday. I was disappointed to not be there (with England) because it was a big opportunity for me, but hopefully I'll be okay and selected to play next time."

Sturridge went on to express his frustration at Liverpool's failure to see out the game at the Liberty Stadium, but he took solace in the Reds' return to the top of the Premier League standings.

"We are a bit disappointed because we were winning the game and I felt we were in control," he added. "At the same time, we are back at the top of the league and we just need to move on from here. We are moving the ball around well, playing good football at the moment."

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed his side's character, even though he shared Sturridge's disappointment in their failure to hang on to win after establishing a first half lead.

"I thought for the first 65 minutes we were very good," the ex-Swansea boss said. "We showed incredible character to get back level so soon after they scored, and until 65 minutes we took control.

"I was disappointed with their second goal and then the momentum changed for the last 25 minutes and we had to show character and resilience, but we showed tonight our game is getting better and we have the character to get a lot of results."

Rodgers confirmed his Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho had been forced off by a shoulder injury, but he could offer no update on his fitness in the immediate aftermath of the thriller in Wales.

"We showed great character to come from behind so early on in the game, but probably young Coutinho going off disrupted the flow of our game," he told Sky Sports. "Then they get the second goal, which we can defend better on, and the last 20, 25 minutes, they've got the momentum, and we had to show resilience and character.

Asked about the tackle in which Coutinho sustained his injury, Rodgers said: "I haven't seen the tackle. He's very sore in the changing room, and we're hoping it will only be bruising."

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