Sturridge vows to win for his mum

Hampshire Chronicle: Daniel Sturridge says the next game will be like a final for England Daniel Sturridge says the next game will be like a final for England

Daniel Sturridge was disappointed he could not help his mother celebrate her birthday with an England win, but pledged to give her the belated present of making it out of Group D.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed a wonderful 18 months since swapping Chelsea for Liverpool, continuing that fine form on Saturday as he marked his first World Cup appearance with a goal.

It was a fine end to a decent team move but not enough for England to secure a victory in their Group D opener, with Italy eventually triumphing 2-1 in the heat and humidity of Manaus.

Sturridge was "heartbroken" by the result, which not only leaves the Three Lions facing a do-or-die clash with Uruguay but denied his mum the ideal present.

His mother, Grace, celebrated her birthday on Sunday and, having failed to get an opening-day victory, the striker has vowed to make amends in the remaining group matches.

"I'm thankful to God for giving me the opportunity, I'm thankful for everything that's come my way," Sturridge said. "I'm humbled by being able to play in a World Cup.

"A year ago, 18 months ago, I never thought I'd be in this position to be honest with you and I'm thankful to God for everything that's come my way.

"It's my mum's birthday on Sunday and I was just trying my heart out to make her happy and put a smile on her face as well.

"Obviously I'm gutted we didn't win the game because I feel like I've let not just everyone in England but my family down as well.

"There were no nerves at all because I know what we're capable of. People saw that, we knew in training and throughout the week going into this game, feeling extremely confident in ourselves as a team.

"I just think we didn't get the breaks we deserved but I'm so excited for the next game because I know we can do a job on them if we play like we did against Italy, so it's a good feeling.

"Every game's a final and we lost one final and we've got two more finals coming up.

"Regardless of this result, we would have had the exact same mentality going into this game."

There certainly does not seem to be an air of doom and gloom around the camp despite the defeat, thanks in no small part to the exciting attack led by Sturridge - someone Roy Hodgson mentioned in the same breathe as Pele in the build-up.

The England boss said the Liverpool striker has the ability to take the finals by storm like Pele did with Brazil in 1958, which understandably pleased Sturridge.

"My uncle and my dad did tell me some things about what he said and obviously it's great," Sturridge said. "It's a great platform, a huge platform for everybody.

"I was nervous before - well, I wouldn't say it was nerves, it was more adrenaline.

"I had so much adrenaline before the game, I was trying to calm myself down. The night before the game I was trying to calm down.

"I had moves running through my head, thinking about doing this or doing that, so many things going through my mind before the game and throughout the week. It seemed such a long week leading up to it."

The next few days will no doubt feel similarly laborious as the pressure builds ahead of the Uruguay match.

There were slight concerns whether Sturridge would be available for the match in Sao Paulo after limping off 10 minutes from time in Manaus, but he was quick to assure no major damage was done.

"Chiellini gave me a knee in the thigh and it was quite painful," he said.

"I tried running it off and kept going, and I looked up and saw my number and I was a bit disappointed to come off because I was trying to carry on.

"These things happen and I'll be ready, I'll be all right for Thursday. I'll get treatment, so I'm sure I'll be fine."

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