Sturridge takes heart from English enterprise
England striker Daniel Sturridge believes that his side should draw encouragement from their opening World Cup defeat by Italy as they begin preparations for Thursday's pivotal clash with Uruguay.
"It's important we continue playing the way we did against Italy," said the Liverpool striker, who netted an equaliser for England in Saturday's Group D game in Manaus, only for Mario Balotelli to give Italy a 2-1 win.
"I thought we played very well. It was just unfortunate. There were two very good sides out there, but they got the breaks and we didn't."
Another loss to Uruguay in Sao Paulo would seriously jeopardise Roy Hodgson's side's chances of reaching the last 16, but Sturridge feels that their display against Italy proved that they are on the right track.
"We played some good football and worked very hard as a team and created a lot of chances. We just lost the game," he added.
"We're disappointed because we deserved something out of the game, but sometimes you don't get the breaks you want to get.
"We worked their 'keeper (Salvatore Sirigu). If you get shots on target and their 'keeper makes good saves, you have to say, 'Fair play.'
"It was unfortunate we didn't get something out of the game. Sometimes you get luck, sometimes you don't get luck. That's football."
While Sturridge opened his World Cup account in the 37th minute of his maiden appearance at the tournament, it was his younger Liverpool team-mate Raheem Sterling who garnered most of the plaudits for England.
Operating in a roving role behind Sturridge, the 19-year-old set the tone for his side with an audacious shot into the side netting in the early exchanges and played a killer pass to Wayne Rooney in the build-up to Sturridge's goal.
- 'Two games to win' -
Having observed Sterling's development at close quarters over the last two seasons, Liverpool team-mate Jordan Henderson was not surprised to see the teenager take to the World Cup with such ease.
"We didn't know he was going to start until (the day of the game)," Henderson told reporters.
"We didn't know the team, but there were no surprises that Raheem started because he has been brilliant in the games, brilliant in training.
"I think he was outstanding. He got on the ball, was confident taking players on, and played a big part in the goal."
Sturridge, Sterling and Henderson could find themselves confronting another Liverpool team-mate on Thursday if Uruguay striker Luis Suarez can shake off a knee injury in time for the game.
Reigning South American champions Uruguay will be similarly desperate for victory after crashing to a shock 3-1 loss to Costa Rica in their opening fixture, and Sturridge is relishing the occasion.
"It's a big game, but these are the games everyone looks forward to," said the former Manchester City and Chelsea forward.
"We all want to play in it and regardless of whether we'd won (against Italy) or not, we'd have still gone into it with a positive mentality and positive attitude, looking to win the match.
"The fact Uruguay lost earlier doesn't really change anything. If they'd have won their game, they'd still want to beat us and secure their advance to the next round as early as possible.
"The Italy result doesn't change anything. We've still got two games to show what we can do. There are two games to win."