• Premier League

Sturridge form inspired by Drogba pep talk

ESPN staff
October 28, 2013
Daniel Sturridge scored Liverpool's fourth goal against West Brom © Getty Images

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge claims his excellent start to the season was inspired by a summer meeting with Didier Drogba.

Sturridge, 24, is the Premier League's leading scorer this term with eight goals, adding to his total with a clever 20-yard chip as West Brom were beaten 4-1 at Anfield on Saturday.

With ten goals in total for the season, Sturridge has scored 21 times in just 27 games for Liverpool since arriving from Chelsea for £12 million in January.

Sturridge made only 31 league starts in four years at Stamford Bridge, where 35-year-old Drogba was the main man before leaving in 2012, first for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua and then for Turkish champions Galatasaray.

The two strikers have remained friends, and met up in the United States during the summer to talk football.

Sturridge told the Sunday Times: "I saw Didier in Miami this summer.

"He said the strongest thing an individual can have is the mental strength.

"He told me, 'It's not about the tactical, it's not about the technical, it's not about the physical. If you believe in yourself, that will set you apart'."

Sturridge, who was used mainly as a substitute or in a wide role while at Chelsea, admitted that he tried too hard to impress at times.

He added that both Drogba and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard have helped to reinforce his sense of self-belief.

"Stevie has helped me a lot in terms of mindset," Sturridge said.

"He's all about self-belief; don't go out there with the mentality of trying to do something. Just let it happen."

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