Rodgers impressed with Sturridge

  • Last Updated: January 26 2013, 13:36 GMT

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes new signing Daniel Sturridge has already significantly enhanced his side.

Daniel Sturridge: New Liverpool striker has impressed Brendan Rodgers
Daniel Sturridge: New Liverpool striker has impressed Brendan Rodgers

The England striker, signed from Chelsea for £12million at the start of the month, has made a flying start for the Anfield club with goals in each of his first three appearances.

Sturridge has also linked well with star forward Luis Suarez and Rodgers thinks his movement can bring the best out of other players.

Rodgers said: "We've actually played exactly the same system we've played before but good players make that system richer.

"Good players can read each other, players with intelligence can move and play with each other.

"Daniel has got great presence in the team and it gives any team confidence when you know you've got goalscorers in your group - you've got a chance to win games.

"The flexibility and cohesiveness last week was impressive and it is only early days.

"Good players want to play with other good players and we've brought in an exceptional player. I think he's given them a lift."

Rodgers felt Sturridge's goal in last week's 5-0 demolition of Norwich in the Barclays Premier League, when he turned in a Stewart Downing ball at close range, perfectly demonstrated what he has brought to the team.

He said: "It was a good move but we have had lots of opportunities like that where the ball has been squared across the goal.

"Probably before him arriving a lot of them have just run out of play.

"The reason I brought him in is because he is a goalscorer and a box player. It is exciting to see and he will only get better."

Liverpool, seventh in the Premier League, have a tough week ahead with a trip to Arsenal on Wednesday followed by a game at champions Manchester City next Sunday.

Before that they must negotiate a passage past npower League One strugglers Oldham in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend.

Rodgers intends to make changes for the tie at Boundary Park but is wary of the importance of winning trophies to the club and has still vowed to take a strong squad.

He said: "It is a different priority but we would still want to win a trophy.

"We want to progress in the league and get into those top-four positions.

"It is going to be immensely difficult for us but we will certainly fight.

"The cup competitions give you that opportunity to get your hands on a trophy.

"That is what the club is based on. The history of this football club is about winning, when you come here second is no good.

"Over many years they have achieved trophies and great accolades.

"This is a competition we would like to do very well in."

Goalkeeper Jose Reina will be one major absentee as he is given longer to overcome a thigh strain and Brad Jones regularly deputises in cup ties in any case.

Rodgers could also have an issue at left-back with Jose Enrique still not fully fit and Glen Johnson also doubtful with a hamstring problem.

Even so, the Reds will still be expected to make easy work of Oldham, who have collected just one point in their last eight games in League One and are 17th in that division.

Manager Paul Dickov also been carrying an extra workload for the past month after the club sacked three of his backroom staff, ostensibly due to poor results although critics claim it was a cost-cutting measure.

Amid that run, the Latics managed to stun Nottingham Forest in the third round and Rodgers is wary of the potential for upset.

He said: "They'll see this as a game to get a good result and kick off their league campaign again. We know we'll need to pay big attention to the game.

"Paul has obviously had a difficult run of late. They've lost seven of their last eight games and drawn one and there has been a bit of upheaval at the club, which never makes it easy.

"But he is doing a terrific job there.

"He has had a fantastic football career. He was a top player and has gone into management and done very well.

"Obviously it's difficult because he lost so many of his staff and he's doing everything - scouting, coaching - but he has got some good players there. They play 4-4-1-1 and try to play.

"It must be extremely difficult for him but through these adverse moments you learn a lot and I'm sure he's learning a lot at the moment."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week