Marseille, June 8 (IANS) Unfazed at being a doubtful starter, England striker Daniel Sturridge insisted that he is not on a holiday and wants to make the most of the opportunities he gets at the Euro football championship.
Sturridge was England’s main forward two years back in the Brazil World Cup but now with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy in the side his place in the starting XI looks shaky.
“I am not here for a holiday,” Sturridge was quoted as saying by the Independent on Tuesday. “When you go into a tournament like this, of course I want to play. Nobody wants to sit on the bench.”
The forward said if the coach does not choose him, he will understand and work harder to feature in the next game.
“I want to play, of course, but it’s down to the manager to choose his team and I have to understand that,” he said.
“If he chooses somebody else, that’s his decision. I’m working tirelessly on the training pitch to ensure I’m in the team. If he doesn’t select me, the next day I will be on the training field to ensure I am for the next game.”
“We can’t win this thing if there are egos or problems in the camp. It’s about us being here as a team.”
An injury and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford’s sudden rise to fame threatened to leave Sturridge back home but then manager Roy Hodgson in a bold move selected five forwards.
But Sturridge said he was quite certain that he would have made this trip to France.
“It was never touch and go from my side or from the manager’s side in terms of my fitness,” Sturridge said. “They knew my situation before I arrived.
“I played in the Europa League final and I had some tension in my calf. It wasn’t necessarily like I had torn any muscles, so that was the positive thing.
“It was going to be gone 5-6 days after I arrived. I trained on the Monday and thought it would have eased off. It didn’t ease off, so they said to rest it. The doctors told me to rest it until the Monday and I would be fine. I trained on Monday and I was fine.”
The 26-year-old also said he would have wished luck to the team if he had not been picked for the tournament.
“But I am not the type of person to worry about these type of things. It is the manager’s decision and if I hadn’t made the squad, I would have wished the boys the best of luck. It is the manager’s decision to pick his squad and I can’t take things personally,” he said.
“We have a squad of players here and it is important to have every type of player you can have to allow the team to be successful.”
“As for Marcus, he is a good player. He has come on the scene and he has no fear and he is an exciting talent,” he added.