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Sturridge looking to book Euro spot
Daniel Sturridge declared he was ready to take on the cream of Europe after showing why he may be the only man capable of filling the void left by suspended England talisman Wayne Rooney this summer.
Sturridge needed an early injury to Steven Gerrard to get his chance in Wednesday night's 3-2 friendly defeat to Holland, but the Chelsea forward took it with both hands in what was a man-of-the-match 57-minute display.
The 22-year-old said: "Going into the next few weeks and months for my club, I just need to continue to work hard for the team and to play well and to help get assists and goals for my team, and then hopefully that'll be enough to get on the plane."
And Sturridge, whose contribution would almost certainly come from a wide rather than central position, has no fear about being thrown in at the deep end this summer.
He said: "I'm training every day against the best left-back in the world so, for me, if I play against anyone else, it can't be as bad as playing against Ashley Cole every day. If I can have a few good training sessions against Ashley Cole, I'm sure I can have a few good games against the other left-backs in the world."
Sturridge still needs to work on his decision-making in the final third and is far from the finished article in other respects - but neither was Rooney at Euro 2004.
"I felt I could've done a lot better in the game," said Sturridge, who missed a sitter when it was still 2-0 to Holland. "But I think I'm happy with the man of the match because I worked very hard."
Sturridge hopes to be joined by Stuart Pearce, who he backed to continue as England manager at Euro 2012.
The forward, who worked with Pearce both at under-21 level and at Manchester City, said: "He has done a lot for me, he gave me my first appearance for Man City when I was 17, kicked me a few times when I was 15.
"He is a great man, he has helped me a lot, he showed a lot of belief also with the Under-21s in the summer. I can't thank him enough for what he has done for me. I'm hoping he gets the job."