Since returning from a long-term injury layoff, Daniel Sturridge is yet to complete 90 minutes with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is trying to protect the striker and ease him back into first-team football.
But the 26-year-old obviously isn't appreciating it.
His reaction when he was brought off against Tottenham on Saturday in the 72nd minute suggested that he was far from impressed with his manager’s decision.
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While some Liverpool fans may be disappointed with Sturridge’s behaviour, there is one man who is pleased with his actions - Klopp.
“I like this – as long as he doesn’t come off the pitch and do something really strange, like kicking me from behind!” Klopp told reporters, per The Mirror.
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“I saw that he was not happy, because I’m not blind. But that’s not a problem, because if he came off and (celebrated) something would be really wrong.”
Klopp continued: ”I think that’s completely normal — especially with the quality of Daniel Sturridge.
“He has to think, 'Leave me on the pitch and I can decide the game’. You have to think ‘Yes, I’m the best’. That’s true, but in this moment we needed other help in the game,” he added.
Sturridge was replaced by Divock Origi as the Reds aimed to retake the lead shortly after Spurs had equalised.
Explaining the change
While the former Chelsea and Manchester City forward may not have been happy with the decision, Klopp revealed the reasons behind the change.
“We needed ways behind the [Tottenham] line. We needed Divock Origi’s physical strength, so I changed,” he admitted.
"I could have changed Adam Lallana and gone with two strikers but in my opinion — and only my opinion counts — it didn’t make sense, so that’s it.”
Share the spoils
Liverpool had earlier taken the lead after Philippe Coutinho side-footed the ball home from 18-yards after a pass from Sturridge.
But Harry Kane fashioned a brilliant equaliser to earn the away side a point.
However, the draw didn’t help either side. Following the weekend's results, Spurs are seven points behind Leicester in their quest for the Premier League title while Liverpool are eight adrift of Manchester City in fourth.
Pleased with passion
While they didn’t get the result they wanted, Klopp was pleased with the passion his players played with.
"We play good football. We don’t get often enough the result we deserve, that’s 100 per cent true, but now I see we really fight all the time for the three points until the last minute of the game,” he said.
"That’s what you have really to learn, and that’s the way we are right now."
All eyes on Dortmund
Despite the domestic campaign seemingly over, Liverpool’s attention will now focus on the mouth-watering clash against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday.
The Reds travel to Germany to play the first-leg of their quarter-final tie before the return fixture at Anfield next week.
Liverpool fans: What did you make of Sturridge's reaction to being substituted? Let us know in the comments box below!
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