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Liverpool striker confident Reds can challenge in Champions League

“We were heartbroken last season but we have got ourselves mentally ready"

Daniel Sturridge backing the club’s new signings to make amends for loss of Luis Suarez

Liverpool enjoyed a winning start to the season on Sunday by beating a Southampton team who had a golden chance to go ahead before Daniel Sturridge converted from close range.

Sturridge was runner-up to team-mate Luis Suarez in the Golden Boot race last season and the England striker is confident that a new-look team can eclipse what was achieved last season, especially with Champions League involvement on the cards.

He said: “The manager has made some great signings and we are looking forward to having a successful season. Everyone is hungry for success here.

“We were heartbroken last season but we have got ourselves mentally ready, especially with the Champions League. That is something I can’t wait to play in, nor can anyone else here. It took a while to get over last season.

“It’s not easy to get over something like that, it’s not easy at all, but we are over it and we are looking forward to the future. God willing, we will bring success to the club. I’m certainly thankful for everything that has come my way. Long may it continue.”

Many think that Liverpool’s Champions League involvement could see them miss out on a top four spot this term, although Sturridge points to the fact that the team ground out an important win against the Saints on Sunday.

He explained: “Last week, we played Dortmund in a friendly. They were fantastic opposition but the way we played against them was completely different to Southampton. It is important to win games of this nature; it is important to have that belief in the squad that whether things are going our way or not, we can still win it.

“It’s very important for us to show resilience and have the mentality to show we can fight as a team. In these instances, when we play against teams that are going to make it very difficult for us to break them down, we have to try and find different ways to win games whether it be individual brilliance, poacher’s goals, a set piece or something. It doesn’t matter how, we have to win these games by any means possible. This shows we can win the dirty games as well as playing the nice football, with the intricate moves and the one-twos around the box.”

All odds were correct at time of posting.