Rodgers hails impact of fit-again Liverpool striker.


Sturridge is beginning to find form.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praised the impact of his star-man Daniel Sturridge after the England international scored in their 2-1 triumph over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the FA Cup fifth round.

Sturridge scored four minutes into the second half for the Reds, cancelling out Fraizer Campbell's first-half opener and Adam Lallana secured the winner for the Merseyside club, after he fired home in the 58th minute, booking Liverpool's spot in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Rodgers was delighted with his team's performance and spoke of the impact Sturridge brings to the team.

"He's working his way back, it's just about extending his game time," the Liverpool boss is quoted saying by talkSPORT.

"I've got to do that because you risk re-injuring him and that's something we can't afford.

"You can see his qualities - his speed, his touch and he doesn't need too many chances to score.

"He should have had a penalty today, it looked a clear penalty, he looks really bright.

"The team is functioning at a high level at the moment and him coming back gives us a big boost in this part of the season."

One obvious thing which could be a positive, is that Sturridge looked a little more threatening when Mario Balotelli came on at half-time.

On Tuesday night, the Italian scored the winning goal against Spurs at Anfield and the northern Irishman spoke well of Balotelli.

"He's training well now and he's starting to really work and focus on his job and the team," Rodgers added, who also said “the penny has dropped” with the striker.

"The other night he came on and got the winner and did very well, and I thought he came on and did very well today.

"He showed good strength and power to win the free-kick and then a terrific strike forces the keeper to make a save and Adam puts in the finish."


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