After a December that started with top four dreams ended in dropped points and disappointment, an improved January sees new signing Daniel Sturridge bringing up the Champions League as a realistic target for Liverpool this season.
"I’m not interested in how many goals I score, I’m interested in where we finish as a team," said Daniel Sturridge following his first start in the league for Liverpool. "The main aim for me which drives me on is to get us into the top four and play Champions League football next season. It’s what everybody wants. That’s a realistic target for us and I don’t see why we can’t get there."
Liverpool's form has been much improved over the past six weeks, with the club securing 15 points in eight matches for 1.88 points per game. It's a return that projects to over 70 points, a total that would all but guarantee Champions League football over a full season. Unfortunately for Liverpool and Sturridge, though, it's unlikely to be enough for to overcome what was a shaky, inconsistent first half of the season.
Still, it's clearly an improvement, and some might look at Sturridge's early return with Liverpool—the three goals scored, the lively play, and the promise seen already in his partnership with Luis Suarez—and hope for even more as the season edges towards the home stretch.
"I was a bit nervous at the start but that eased off after the first 25 minutes and I was enjoying myself after that," he continued, moving from top four goals to his new strike partner and his role at Liverpool. "Luis and I have good chemistry, and off the field he’s a good guy as well. It’s really good to be part of such a great team with him and long may it continue.
"If Luis goes up front, I’ll drop in behind him. There’s no position for any of us, we run around and when we defend we get back into shape. When we are fluid, it’s better as a team because it gives the opposition problems.
"I’ve been blessed. It has been a difficult few years for me at my previous club so to come here and for things to start so well, I’m delighted."