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Daniel Sturridge on potential Mario Balotelli partnership

Striker Daniel Sturridge‘s return from injury may have been viewed as the cure for all Liverpool’s ills in front of goal but the England international insists the focus has to be on the team and not individuals.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 18, 2015: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge and manager Brendan Rodgers during a press conference ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st leg match against Besiktas JK at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 25-year-old has scored twice in five appearances, only two of which have been starts, since coming back from a five-month lay-off.

He has undoubtedly added a greater cutting edge up front – evidenced by his brilliant strike in the FA Cup against Crystal Palace – but Sturridge stressed he is a team player who wants to improve the side’s all-round performance.

“It’s important to get a relationship with every player,” said the striker, whose return has coincided with the Reds’ best run of form this season. “I’ve been out for a while. I’ve come back into the set-up and I’m just doing my best to help the team.

“It’s a team game, so every relationship’s important, from my relationship with (goalkeeper) Simon Mignolet to the strikers.

“I look forward to continuing to play between now and the end of the season, and helping the team have positive results and a successful season.

“The manager’s implemented a system and a mentality in us that we’ll always have and it’s important to us as a team for what we’re trying to achieve.”

Much has been of a potential strike partnership with misfit Mario Balotelli. Sturridge has previously said he feels they can play together as a pair but he did not want to rule out other options.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 31, 2014: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge sprays water on his face as Mario Balotelli looks on against Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“For me it’s easy to play with Mario – and not just Mario, but any of my team-mates,” he said. “I enjoy playing with Mario. He’s a great guy. I get along with him, and I feel we can have a successful partnership.

“It’s down to the manager and who he selects but from my point of view, I feel I can play with him or any player in the team because I get along with everybody.

“You have to adapt your game to each individual. It’s different playing with different players so whether it’s Mario or anyone else, I’ll do my best to make sure it works for the benefit of the team.”

Sturridge is likely to lead the line at home to Besiktas as Liverpool kick-off their Europa League programme, the consolation prize for failing in the Champions League before Christmas, in the last 32.

The Turkish Super Lig leaders arrive at Anfield looking to make up for their 8-0 Champions League hammering on the ground in 2007 but manager Slaven Bilic insists that is not their motivating factor.

“Revenge is not a word which should be used in football or sport,” he said. “What happened was written in the records but even then, and this is where football is magnificent, a couple of weeks before that Besiktas beat Liverpool 2-1 in Istanbul.

“That is in the past. Most of our players were kids then so there is no pressure whatsoever.”

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