Daniel Sturridge says 'I am gutted' and apologises to Liverpool fans

The England striker admits his disappointment after Reds come so close to winning the Premier League title

Striker Daniel Sturridge apologised to fans for not winning the Barclays Premier League this season but assured them he expects Liverpool to challenge for the title again.

The Reds had destiny in their own hands until slipping up with a home defeat to Chelsea late last month which handed the initiative to Manchester City, who duly closed out the championship on Sunday with victory over West Ham, negating Liverpool's 2-1 win over Newcastle.

However, second place still represents success, having come from seventh last season, as it secured a return to the Champions League and, although Sturridge knows it could have been so much better, he also believes this campaign will not be a flash in the pan.

"I know we set the target of reaching the Champions League but I can't stand here and say I'm happy. I am gutted," said the England striker.

"I know we've gone from seventh to second but I am never happy coming second no matter what I'm playing, whether it's table tennis, cricket or whatever, I don't like losing.

"We're all hungry for success and the fans deserve success. They've given us great support from the first minute to the last and I apologise to them for not winning the Premier League.

"I'll do everything in my power, just like my team-mates will, to try to ensure we do that for them next season. I believe we can.

"People can make excuses about how we had an advantage because we weren't in Europe this season but I know we will be contenders again next season.

"We will take the positives from this season and learn from the negatives.

"This experience will stand us in good stead for next season. I believe we will challenge.

"Next season will be a big year for us and we're looking forward to that already."

 

If Liverpool are to become genuine regular title contenders while balancing the demands of the Champions League they have to strengthen their squad considerably.

Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana - who will go to the World Cup alongside Sturridge and Reds team-mates Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Glen Johnson and Jordan Henderson - has emerged as an early priority in Brendan Rodgers' strengthening process.

There are reports of a formal bid being lodged with Saints and it is no secret Rodgers is an admirer.

Sturridge is confident his manager will get the summer recruitment right.

"I think this squad is unbelievable. We've done really well and I fully expect us to push on again next season," he added.

"I am sure the manager will buy players who he believes can push us on to the next level.

"With whoever comes in together with the great players we already have here, I am sure we will do well next season."

While looking to bring in more players Liverpool are also keen to extend the contracts of a number of the first team squad.

Negotiations are on-going with right-back Johnson, who has just over 12 months remaining, but much will depend on the England international.

The club want to keep the defender, who turns 30 in August, but considering his age they want his salary - Johnson is one of the highest wage earners - to reflect that and that may be the stumbling block.

There has yet to be any movement on new deals for Jordan Henderson and Gerrard but those are expected later in the summer.

Midfielder Lucas Leiva moved to clarify remarks he made after posting an image from Sunday's post-match lap of appreciation.

The Brazil international, who lost his regular place after Gerrard dropped into a deeper midfield role, wrote alongside a picture of him and his family: "Yesterday I finished my the season with Liverpool. I want to thank the ones who supported me all this years. £thankyou £goodbye."

However, after realising that left much open to interpretation he soon added: "The goodbye that I said it is about the season that finished nothing else."

After 21 goals this season it was no surprise to see Sturridge selected in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad and the 24-year-old hopes to be able to take his good form to Brazil.

"It's a very big summer ahead," he said.

"I'm really looking forward to going to Brazil and trying to do well. I'm hungry to do well. I want to bring England some success."

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Environment
Sudan, the last male northern white rhino
environmentThe death of a white northern rhino in Kenya has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells