Sturridge: I’ll only get better

Sturridge netted his ninth goal of the campaign in the 1-1 draw at

Tottenham to overtake Frank Lampard again as the Blues’ top scorer.

The 22-year-old is on course to end the season with at least 20

goals, having already bagged 21 during a calendar year which he

began on loan at Bolton. Sturridge’s tally is all the more

impressive considering he is playing not in his preferred

centre-forward role, but largely out on the wing. And despite

scoring the equaliser after ghosting in to convert Ashley Cole’s

cross at White Hart Lane last night, Sturridge was focused more on

an earlier miss when Brad Friedel spilt Juan Mata’s shot. “I know I

can improve a lot more than where I am now and hopefully I will be

able to show that,” Sturridge said. “I’ll be coming away from this

game disappointed I didn’t score more. “I feel I could have taken

the first chance and I’ll be working hard to improve my game

because I know I can do a lot better than I am now.” Sturridge was

far from the worst culprit as Chelsea wasted a glut of chances to

take all three points and move back within nine of leaders

Manchester City. Midfielder Ramires was thwarted in a one-on-one

with Friedel before squandering a free header from no more than

eight yards. But Sturridge was far less critical of his team-mate

than he was of himself. “Rami makes great runs and was unfortunate

not scoring,” he said. “But he has five goals so he is getting his

fair share of goals. “His energy is unbelievable and you can see

every game he plays in he gets a chance because of the way he runs.

Players don’t get opportunities like he does because they don’t do

the running he does. “He’s unlucky with the ones he didn’t score

but he’s a great player. “In the big games we’ve had opportunities

against every team we’ve played against and we’ve not taken them.

So hopefully now we can be a lot more clinical.” Didier Drogba also

hit the angle of post and bar in a performance that was arguably

Chelsea’s best away from home under manager Andre Villas-Boas. The

display came barely 24 hours after John Terry was charged with

racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand – something the Blues

captain denies. Terry and his team-mates did well to bounce back

from falling a goal behind, but Sturridge added: “I wouldn’t say we

made a statement. “They played great football, we played great

football and it was a great match for the neutral to watch. I

wouldn’t say we outplayed them. “It was end to end stuff, very

open, and they’re a great club. They’ll be in the title race and so

will we – we’re top sides.” Sturridge said after Saturday’s 1-1

draw at Wigan that it would be “stupid” to write off Chelsea’s

title hopes, and he was not for turning after last night’s result,

which left them 11 adrift of top spot. He said: “With how things

are in the Premier League, nobody is out of the race until the

final ball is kicked in the last game. Everybody knows that. “I

hate speculating about this because it’s going to be the same thing

again and again. “It’s going to be a tight Premier League race all

the way down to the final game and I’m looking forward to it.

Hopefully I can play a big part in the team lifting the league and

I do believe we can do that.” The next week and a half will be

decisive, with three rounds of fixtures over the festive period.

“It’s going to be a difficult period for every team,” Sturridge

said. “Players will start feeling a bit leggy and lose

concentration because of playing so many games, not forgetting

Christmas Day when the dinner comes out and everyone has a nice

day! “You never know what’s going to happen but, all in all, I am

sure points will be dropped.”