Gerrard: Sturridge blossoming due to faith from Rodgers

Gerrard and Sturridge could be key to England's World Cup hopes. Photo: PA

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool team-mate Daniel Sturridge is benefiting from the faith shown in him by Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers.

When Sturridge arrived at Liverpool from Chelsea on January 2 this year, it appeared his was a career that was not going to be fulfilled.

Having left Manchester City amid some acrimony, the 24-year-old flattered to deceive during his three-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge.

Although Rodgers was prepared to invest £12million in him, Sturridge must have known if he did not make it at Liverpool, he was unlikely to get another chance at one of England's elite clubs.

However, after eight goals in nine appearances for the Reds this term, those fears have now been dispelled, with England boss Roy Hodgson set to include Sturridge in tomorrow night's crucial World Cup qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley.

"I was surprised with the things I'd read because Daniel has been absolutely no problem at Liverpool," said Gerrard.

"He's confident and has a lot of belief in his own ability but he is not arrogant or flash.

"He needed a manager who was prepared to build a team around him as a main striker and we've see nothing but quality.

"I'd seen all the games at Chelsea and flashes at City, but he's been brilliant at Liverpool, even better than I thought he was.

"He's different. He's razor sharp, has great technique and can score any kind of goal.

"It's all about him being available and fit."

If Sturridge does start tomorrow it would only be the second time he has done so for his country and would therefore, represent a significant call by Hodgson given the importance of the occasion.

Anything but a victory would throw England's hopes of automatic qualification for next summer's World Cup Finals in Brazil open to some considerable doubt.

Yet the bullishness seeping out of England's Hertfordshire HQ today was impossible to ignore.

"There is a confidence in the squad," said Gerrard.

"We are not over-confident because we have respect for our opponents. They are good teams.

"But it's a huge boost to have the majority of lads available. Training has gone well and so has the preparation.

"That is why we are feeling the way we do."