You Can Be a Sub for Your Club AND Play for England; SWEDEN V ENGLAND HODGSON PICKS THE PREM'S NEARLY MEN STURRIDGE PREPARING TO FORGET BRIDGE BLUES BY MAKING THE THREE LIONS ROAR

The Mirror (London, England), November 13, 2012 | Go to article overview

You Can Be a Sub for Your Club AND Play for England; SWEDEN V ENGLAND HODGSON PICKS THE PREM'S NEARLY MEN STURRIDGE PREPARING TO FORGET BRIDGE BLUES BY MAKING THE THREE LIONS ROAR


Byline: JOHN CROSS j.cross@trinitymirror.com

DANIEL STURRIDGE insists he can become an England regular, despite struggling to get into the first team at Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea striker has been frozen out by boss Roberto Di Matteo and has yet to start in the Premier League this term.

But the 23-year-old could begin England's friendly in Sweden tomorrow and still has enough faith in his own ability to believe he can get to the 2014 World Cup.

That perhaps shows how desperately short of forwards Roy Hodgson has become, and the England manager admits he will have to pick players even if they are not club regulars.

Sturridge falls into that category, along with Ryan Bertrand, Joleon Lescott, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley, who are all Three Lions squad mainstays, despite being far from assured of starting places at their clubs.

But Hodgson's problem is particularly acute in attack because Sturridge and Manchester United's Welbeck are the only conventional frontmen in the England set-up for the Sweden match. It is hard to remember a time when the national side has had such a dearth of top-quality strikers.

Sturridge said: "I believe you can be an England regular and not a regular for your club.

"The England manager has made it clear that players do not have to start for their clubs to play for England.

"That is a huge leap of faith for players like myself, who are not playing regular first-team football.

"If the boss had not made that statement, it would be difficult for the likes of myself and other players who are not playing week in, week out. The manager understands our situation, knows what we are going through and is trying to help us through it."

But two-goal Sturridge, whose only Blues start this season has been in the Capital One Cup, admits he finds life at the Bridge hard to handle.

He spent most of last term playing wide, but one comfort now is that he is at least being used down the middle.

The front-runner added: "I think it is difficult. If anyone says to you, 'If you don't play, you are fine', it is a lie.

"I do not believe it is easy to not play and then switch it on like a light. …

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