Daniel Sturridge has spoken about his relationship with Jurgen Klopp and hit out at those who have accused him of not working hard enough at Liverpool.
Sturridge has scored eight goals in only nine Premier League starts this season but was accused during his time out injured of not working hard enough to get himself fit.
It is a suggestion Sturridge dismisses out of hand.
“I don’t pay any attention to it whatsoever,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail. “The majority, probably 95 per cent of the people who talk and say things about me, don’t actually know me.
“Even some of the people who’ve played with me don’t actually know me. Because they’re a team-mate, doesn’t necessarily mean we’re friends or we talk outside of work. But anybody who knows me will know that I’m one of the most ambitious people out there.
“And for people to say, ‘Oh he don’t try enough or he doesn’t want to be fit’… do you honestly believe I’d want to just be sat down picking up wages when I’ve dreamt of being a professional footballer ever since I can remember?
“I don’t think I’d want to be here now, just to be sitting in my apartment, twiddling my thumbs every day – because pretty much that’s what I do.
“In terms of criticism, if people want to talk about me that’s fine. I guess I’m doing something right because there have been many players who’ve had injuries that nobody talks about.
“(But) I’m not here going out for nightlife. I can’t go out, really. I’m not here having fun with all my mates.
“I live alone. My family’s close but all my friends live down south. I’m here to work. I’m not here to have fun. I’m not here for a jolly-up.
“Liverpool, for me, is work. It’s a job. It’s something I take seriously and for anyone to question my integrity, it’s disrespectful.
“The people who say those things should take a long, hard look at themselves and probably think before they speak.”
Sturridge on Klopp relationship
Sturridge has found himself playing second fiddle to Divock Origi in recent weeks but, speaking on Monday, before the Villarreal game, Sturridge was relaxed about his relationship with Klopp.
“In every job in life, someone’s the manager, everyone else is employees and that’s life,” he said. “For me, our relationship is OK, there are no problems on my part.
“I’ve never said a bad word about the boss and never will say a bad word because he’s the manager of Liverpool and he’s the voice of the club. He’s the person who represents the club on a global stage, so you have to respect the man and the things he says.”