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Brendan Rodgers wants Liverpool to step up in Daniel Sturridge's absence

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Brendan Rodgers has admitted that Daniel Sturridge's latest injury has come as a  disappointment, but he wants other squad members to step up in his absence.

Sturridge has played just three Premier League games for Liverpool this season, having been side-lined since early September after picking up a thigh strain on England duty, which preceded a calf strain in October.

Big blow

The former Chelsea man was expected to make his return against Crystal Palace on Sunday, however he pulled up in training and scans revealed that a fresh thigh strain that has put the 25-year-old in the sick room once again. The news comes as a blow to Rodgers, given the lack of goals that have went in at Anfield this season, and will be launching an investigation to his injury.

"It's hugely disappointing to lose a player of that quality," the Northern Irishman told the club's official website.

"It's hugely disappointing to lose a player of that quality"

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"It happened in a session and it was quite innocuous. He did it when he just flicked the ball, it wasn't a shot or anything that looked serious.

"But obviously he felt the pain and then when the medical team told me the next day after the scan it was disappointing.

"Whether Daniel needs to see a specialist is something that the medical team are looking into.

"I think that's his ninth injury on that thigh from previous clubs and here so there is an issue there somewhere.

"The scan shows a slight tear just below where he had a previous injury."

Misfortune

It's no secret that Liverpool have been badly out of touch so far this season. They sit just 11th in the Premier League and have scored just 14 goals throughout the campaign - two of them being own goals.

Rodgers has made-do with Mario Balotelli, who joined for £16 million in the summer, leading the front-line for the Reds. He however has been out of form, putting in some dismal displays for the Merseyside club, as evidenced by the fact that he's yet to get on the score-sheet in the top flight.

Liverpool fans have became increasingly frustrated with the Italian, who's poor work-rate questions why he is being picking week in, week out. Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini are also yet to score for the club this term, but have had less opportunities than the former AC Milan man.

Step-up from players

However, the former Swansea City boss is not mourning in the loss of his deadly forward, and has instead asked his players to improve on their previous effort, starting on Sunday when the Reds travel to face Crystal Palace.

"Now we just have to concentrate and focus on the players we do have," Rodgers added.

"It's that simple - make the best of what we have available.

"At this moment in time it's about what is within the squad because that's the players we have available.

"It will present an opportunity to the guys who have maybe been on the sidelines for quite a while.

"It will present an opportunity to the guys who have maybe been on the sidelines for quite a while"

"We can't worry about what we had last season or what we have lost. We have to look at the players we have. We have an exciting period of games coming up.

"We want to ensure we go back to our basics and be really hard to beat and be strong and aggressive.

"We want to make an impact in front of goal. Now there's an opportunity for some players who didn't think they would get a chance."

Time for change

Prior to the start of the season, Rodgers asked for more from his players for the upcoming campaign. The 41-year-old saw Suarez leave the club in summer, who netted 31 goals in the league last term.

The Northern Irishman knew he could not get a striker within the Uruguayan's class and instead asked for his current squad members for more goals. Two of those were Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho.

The latter looks more deadly in-front of goal, shooting far outside the box and making goalkeepers work, most memorably when his effort in the 3-0 loss to Real Madrid crashed against the cross-bar. However, the former has not done much in front of goal, netting just once against West Bromwich Albion. 

If Rodgers wants his players to step up, it could be time to play a system that will aid all 11 men on the pitch.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Premier League
Football
Daniel Sturridge

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