Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has hit back at critics who claimed he lacks the appetite and commitment to feature on a regular basis for the Anfield club.
Sturridge has endured another injury-plagued season but is available tonight as Liverpool aim to dispatch German outfit Augsburg following their goalless first leg and reach the last 16.
The 26-year-old has featured in Liverpool’s last three matches after his latest injury setback, a hamstring problem, saw him sidelined for two months, which led to questions about his long-term future.
“To say a player doesn’t want to play is the biggest disrespect you could ever say to a footballer,” said Sturridge. “I think it is astonishing, disappointing, whoever is saying it, but that’s football and people are entitled to their opinions.
“I don’t think anyone will understand how much it means to me to play football and I’ll continue to do my best for Liverpool.”
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will be without centre-half Dejan Loven tonight due to illness, while midfield duo Adam Lallana and Joe Allen, together with defender Martin Skrtel, remain sidelined.