Hodgson wants best of Sturridge

  • Last Updated: March 2 2014, 8:09 GMT

Roy Hodgson hopes Daniel Sturridge will light up the World Cup this summer and finally deliver on the potential that he thinks can earn the Liverpool striker 100 caps.

Sturridge (l) and Rooney could be Hodgson's forward pairing in Brazil
Sturridge (l) and Rooney could be Hodgson's forward pairing in Brazil

Ever since Michael Owen's career began to fade, the responsibility of leading England's front line at major tournaments has fallen on the shoulders of Wayne Rooney.

That responsibility has sometimes been a burden on the striker. Other than the 2004 European Championship, Rooney has struggled in tournament football. The fact he has not scored a goal at a World Cup goes a long way to proving that theory.

But Rooney will have a free-scoring partner to carry some of the load this summer in Daniel Sturridge, who is enjoying the best season of his career at Liverpool.

"He is a great talent," the England manager said. "If he remains fit and able, I'm confident he will produce."

Sturridge's form has been astounding since he left Chelsea for Liverpool.

In 39 matches, he has scored 32 goals - more than he managed during his four-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

But with England, Sturridge has not found the going so easy. The 24-year-old made his debut in 2011 - but he has only gone on to earn nine caps.

Seven of those have come under Hodgson, but there would have been so many more had it not been for injury.

The England manager now hopes the striker's injury troubles are behind him so he can enjoy a long and successful international career.

"He's hardly played for England," Hodgson added.

"Since he's gone to Liverpool, he's done very, very well, but quite often when we've had matches we've been unlucky he's not been available through injury.

"In my 25 games, Daniel hasn't featured anywhere near as often as I would like. Now, I'm hoping, in the next 25, he's going to feature a lot.

"He should be looking at his 50 caps and when he has his 50 look at a hundred because he's got the talent to play up.

"I think that it's exceptional the way he's been playing this year and now it's incumbent upon him really that he does that also in an English shirt."

Sturridge is one of five Liverpool players who have been named in a 30-strong squad to face Denmark on Wednesday.

Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and Sturridge are almost certain to make Hodgson's World Cup squad, but Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling are only on the fringes.

The way that Henderson and Sterling link up with Gerrard and Sturridge in the Liverpool team could help their chances of making the cut.

"You certainly don't turn your nose up at (things like that)," Hodgson said.

"Whether you can actually translate it that will depend to some extent on some of your other players."

Rooney, meanwhile, has endured a stop-start season due to a number of injuries.

But when he has been fit, the 28-year-old has been one of the few players to impress in what has been a very disappointing season for Manchester United.

Hodgson is confident that Rooney will still be able to perform at the World Cup despite United's troubles.

"Wayne Rooney wants to play for England. He wants to go to Brazil, he wants to do well and he'll want to do that whatever happens at Manchester United," Hodgson said.

Hodgson bristled at suggestions that Rooney is the man who can deliver World Cup success for England this summer.

"He is one of our iconic players, but he doesn't carry our hopes," Hodgson said.

New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30