Jurgen Klopp is “not interested in public opinions” of Daniel Sturridge and will judge whoever plays up front for Liverpool on more than just goals.
Sturridge has scored three goals in his last four games, reaching 50 for Liverpool from just 87 appearances with his strike in Wednesday’s Merseyside derby win over Everton.
That is the fourth quickest in the club’s history in the post-war era, beating the likes of Luis Suarez, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.
With Divock Origi out for at least a few weeks with ankle ligament problems – Klopp refused to rule him out for the rest of the season – the responsibility falls on Sturridge.
Klopp, however, says a striker should be judged on far more than simply the goals he scores.
“I think most of the time this side of the table (the media) are not interested in performance,” Klopp said.
“If someone scored four goals would you say, ‘Ah, but between these four goals he didn’t play too well?’ I don’t think anyone wrote this ever in his life.
“Of course the first job of a striker is to score goals, but you cannot score in each game.
“Even Gerd Muller, the most famous and best German striker we ever had, scored something like 600, but there were a few games where he didn’t score.
“Of course you have to work, but it is not about defending like I don’t know what.
“It is about smart behaviour in the right position, closing gaps. That is not too difficult and the game is 95 minutes, so you need to be in the game for this to help the team all the time.
“Daniel has scored goals in the last few games and he had some more wonderful moments when he was a real threat to other teams.
“At Bournemouth (last Sunday) things were really outstanding, so he is able to create his own moments, he doesn’t always need an assist so that is good.
“When Daniel was fit I was always happy with his performance. I am not interested in public opinions.”