Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has praised team-mates Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling after marking his return from injury with a goal against West Ham United.

After five months on the sidelines with thigh and calf problems, Sturridge came off the bench in the second half at Anfield on Saturday and claimed Liverpool’s second goal in a 2-0 Premier League victory.

Having also set up Sterling for the home side’s opener, Coutinho teed up Sturridge to score in the 80th minute and the England striker said the Brazilian’s eye for pass had made it easy for him to hit the ground running.

“It was a great feeling to help my team-mates get three points,” Sturridge said. “That’s the most important thing — to just be out there and helping the team win games.

“It was great play by Coutinho. We have a great relationship in terms of he knows my runs and I know the types of passes he likes to play as well. He makes my job easier.

“Once I saw him cut inside, I knew the ball would come and it was just a case of getting it under control and hitting the target.”

Sterling has filled in for Sturridge up front during the 25-year-old’s absence and the Jamaica-born forward showed his coolness in front goal by tucking away Liverpool’s opening goal in the 51st minute.

Sterling is likely to return to a more withdrawn role now that Sturridge is available again, but his older team-mate is confident he will continue to prove decisive.

“He’s done extremely well. He’s working hard and I’m proud of him, as his ‘older brother’, to look at him and see how well he’s done,” Sturridge told LFCTV.

“I just hope he continues to work hard and play in the way he has because he’s improving every single day.

“He takes it in his stride. He doesn’t get too big-headed, he doesn’t get overly confident with anything.

“I take him under my arm when he goes through difficult times as well, but I give him all the credit in the world and I’m really proud of him.” – Agence France-Presse

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