Daniel Sturridge: Striker jokes that Gary Lewin 'stole my moment' after goal for England against Italy

England striker is 'hungry and confident' before Thursday’s match against Uruguay

In one of the interview rooms at England’s Urca training ground Daniel Sturridge became so consumed with describing his emotions in the aftermath of his first World Cup finals goal that we got a brief rendition of the famous wriggly-arms goal celebration. Albeit this time he was sat behind a desk with a Football Association press officer to his right and a giggling Danny Welbeck to his left.

“I said I wouldn’t do the celebration if I ever scored,” Sturridge said. “Then when I did, I thought I was offside, I looked over to the bench and all the lads were around someone on the floor. I was thinking: ‘What’s going on over there?’ I didn’t know what was happening and I was caught up in the moment. It was all a bit of a blur.

“Then I saw Gary Lewin [the physio] was down, and I was like: ‘What’s going on here? He’s stolen my moment! I’m trying to do my thing and he’s lying down on the floor injured’ … actually I hope he’s well. He has had an operation, and we all wish him well.”

Read more: Suarez is '100 per cent' fit
Will the Ox be let off the leash?
VIDEO: Hart goes crazy at ball boy

The last part of the sentence came from the heart but it was added just as Sturridge, arms out either side, mid-wriggle, was in full flow. For a moment there we got a glimpse of the Sturridge character. The man has a strong personality, he likes to be centre-stage and when he is “doing his thing” he means it. Nothing wrong with that, because if England are going to get out of Group D they are going to need a goalscorer who believes in himself.

England have one-half of the lethal Liverpool strike partnership that very nearly landed Brendan Rodgers’ team the Premier League title last month. Uruguay have the other half, Luis Suarez, the man the Uruguayan press like to refer to as “the gunslinger”. Except Uruguay’s gunslinger is still mulling over whether to risk his knee, and Sturridge is already off the mark.

It felt like Sturridge was in the zone yesterday, touring the interview rooms with his friend and former Under-21 strike partner Danny Welbeck. The Manchester United man is much more softly spoken, that accent as unmistakeably Mancunian as a rainy summer day. At one point Sturridge interrupted proceedings to tell the assembled press how highly he rated his friend.

“I’ve grown up with Welbs and I think he’s unbelievably talented,” Sturridge said. “He hasn’t got the credit he deserves in the past.” Welbeck is the boy who has worked his way through the United academy system and, apart from that wobble last season when he looked unhappy, could easily stay for another decade. Sturridge is the much less reserved of the two, with six clubs on his CV already, including schoolboy stints at Aston Villa and Coventry City.

He was asked about Gus Poyet’s observation that the Uruguay players would be prepared to do anything – and he meant anything they could get away with – to win Thursday’s game.

“I’m going to do anything in my power to win this game,” Sturridge said. “I’m prepared to do anything, and I’m talking anything. I’m being serious. I’m prepared to do anything to win this next game. It’s do or die. It’s a World Cup. I’m hungry, I’m confident, and I’m so happy to go out there. Do we want to go home? No. I want to win this World Cup like everyone back there does. I’d be gutted to go out. I’d be devastated to go out in the group stage.”

It was qualified later that he was not quite prepared to do quite anything. “I’m not saying I’m going to dive or do anything that’s not within the laws of the game, but I will do anything – like my team-mates – to win this game.” But there was no mistaking the commitment.

As for Suarez, Sturridge finds himself in an awkward position. He is the obvious go-to guy when it comes to the secrets of what makes the Premier League’s current leading player the phenomenon that he is, but one gets the sense that the FA is not too keen on Sturridge talking extensively about the man they have banned for a total of 19 domestic games

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez says he is fit Uruguay striker Luis Suarez says he is fit

Perhaps it is a Steve Peters positive thinking thing. Had he been banned from talking about Suarez? “No, definitely not. I feel we’re playing against Uruguay. I don’t think they’ll be saying we have to worry about Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney or Steven Gerrard. It’s a team game. We spoke a lot about [Andrea] Pirlo before the first game, but [Claudio] Marchisio had to strike the ball from 25 yards to score the goal.”

The most illuminating insight that Sturridge offered on Suarez was the difficulty in knowing what the Uruguayan was likely to do. “There’s a lot of unpredictability to players’ games: Luis, Neymar... you can’t show [Arjen] Robben on his left foot, he’ll go on his right foot down the line. These days players are unpredictable.”

Judging from the words coming out the Uruguay camp, Suarez is less certain whether he will be playing on Thursday. He says he will only do so if he is “100 per cent” fit, although it is hard to imagine him sitting on the bench watching Uruguay’s World Cup finals participation slip away and deciding not to try to do anything about it.

Two days have passed now since the defeat to Italy and there seems no deviation from the England approach from that game; that they must also attack Uruguay and not go back into their shells as they have done at other tournaments. “We’ll play the same way, the same exciting, attacking football, defend well as a team,” Sturridge said. He added that this time they needed “a little more killer instinct”, which will, among others, be his responsibility.

Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture