Chelsea youngster Daniel Sturridge, who has now scored two goals for the Blues in their pre-season endeavours, says that the key to his success so far is down to Andre Villas-Boas letting the England Under 21 international enjoy himself when he’s out on the pitch.
Sturridge, who spent a portion of last season on loan at Bolton, created a chance and scored his against Kitchee in Hong Kong, and netted another against Aston Villa in the Barclays Asia Trophy triumph at the weekend.
And while the striker faces serious competition for a striking spot next season from the likes of Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba, Sturridge says Villas-Boas is giving him the chance to make his mark in a Chelsea shirt.
“The manager has given me the licence to express myself and I don't think I have had that before with any manager,” Sturridge said. “He has let me off the leash and said go out and enjoy yourself. I have a lot more freedom than I have ever had and I think I enjoy my
Villas-Boas will no doubt be experimenting with Chelsea’s formations to find what clicks best for the squad, and Sturridge says he’s happy to be put wherever his strengths may find him on the pitch.
“I enjoy myself in any position,” he added. “The manager gives me the licence to get the ball and dribble and whichever position you are in as an attacker, you have to try to beat a defender one v one.
”I enjoy being a striker and I can play wide, and it is not a problem for me to play anywhere because the manager shows a lot of faith in me. One of my abilities is to dribble and to try to score goals and he gives me the licence to do anything I want to do on the pitch so I can't complain."
Sturridge insists that it’s not just himself who feels this way; saying the entire Chelsea squad are finding that Villas-Boas’ style of play is particularly enjoyable to be part of.
'”The players are enjoying themselves. The manager has emphasised that he wants to attack and not to be a defensive team. The philosophy is to win games but to win them in an attacking way,” Sturridge revealed.
The 21-year-old is taking the over-supply of strikers as a positive, and is hoping to push himself to the heights of some of the top forwards in Chelsea’s line up.
“As well as me there is Didier Drogba, Nico Anelka, Fernando Torres, Salomon Kalou and also Gael Kakuta who is at the Under 20 World Cup so we all give something different for the manager to choose from, and we all enjoy playing football."