• World Cup

Sturridge will do 'anything' to win

ESPN staff
June 17, 2014
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Daniel Sturridge says he is prepared to "do anything" to help England beat Uruguay on Thursday as they battle to stay in the World Cup - except cheating, of course.

With a question framed around the assertion from Sunderland manager Gus Poyet that their Group D opponents would use any means necessary to ensure victory, Sturridge said: "I'll be truthful, I am going to do anything in my power to win this next game. I am prepared to do anything and I am talking anything.

Rooney trains with England's reserves

Wayne Rooney played out wide against Italy © Getty Images
  • Wayne Rooney trained with the reserves and took part in extra shooting and passing practice in a bid to prove to Roy Hodgson he is worthy of a place in England's starting line-up against Uruguay.
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"I'm being serious. It is do or die. It's a World Cup. I'm hungry, I'm confident and I'm so happy to be out here. This means everything to every single individual in this squad. Do I want to go home early? No. I want to win this World Cup like everyone back home wants us to win it and I'd be gutted to go out in the group.

"It means the world to me to play for England and I'd be devastated if that happened. So, yes, anything. And I'm being totally honest with you guys.'

So, diving, handling the ball on the goal-line, play-acting then? Not quite, insisted Sturridge.

"We're an honest country,' he said. "We go about our business in an honest way. No disrespect to other countries, I'm sure they are honest, too. But we play within the laws of the game. We don't bend the rules. We play by the book.

"There's nothing wrong with that. We've gone a long way doing it, from 1966 when we won the World Cup. We played within the laws and that's how I was brought up, how everyone in our squad was brought up.

"We don't like to cheat to win. We want to play in an honest way. That's how I feel football should be played. I will stay on my feet. I will never dive on purpose to get some guy sent off. I'm not going to handle a goal to stop the ball going in the net because it's not in my nature.

"So not diving, but I will do anything - just like every single one of my team-mates - as Uruguay will, too. They're hungry, just like us. And we'll work our socks off, do more than we've ever done before."

More precise definitions of exactly what represents cheating for Sturridge have not been relayed and there is frequently debate around the game on that hot topic.

Thomas Mueller prompted a fierce discussion in the ITV studio on Monday night by going down easily after a clash with Pepe, angering the Portugal defender, who then butted his German opponent and was sent off in a game his country lost 4-0.

Mueller insisted he did not try to get Pepe sent off and some fellow players claim he acted in the way most professionals would.

Luis Suarez, who looks set to face England for Uruguay on Thursday, has also found himself at the centre of such debates frequently. Both he and Liverpool team-mate Sturridge were booked for diving last season.

But the England striker says Roy Hodgson's team have not become obsessed with Suarez. "I hope he's fit," said Sturridge "We look to face the best Uruguay team to show what we can do. I don't think there are any fears or anxieties. We are just excited.

"It's not just about Suarez, we can't have an obsession with him. [It is the] same for them against us. It's a team game, not about individuals. It's a game of football. He's trying to help his country and I am mine. I wish him well.

"I'm not really on texting terms with Luis at the moment. He hasn't asked me for any clues and I haven't asked him. Whether they have Luis or not, we'll play the same.

"We understand what we have to do, it's not rocket science. We have two games and need a minimum of four points. We have to try and do that. We have a lot of confidence, adrenalin and no nerves.

"A draw could be enough but what I learned at Liverpool is that if it's in your hands it's best to try and get it done and deal with it yourselves than ask for favours. There are no guarantees. You try your best to get the job done."

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