AVB: Only top four will do

Daniel Sturridge has been urged to learn from Liverpool strike

partner Luis Suarez by manager Brendan Rodgers.

Suarez hit the headlines for the wrong reasons once again this

week after an altercation with Chile defender Gonzalo Jara while on

international duty for Uruguay.

But Rodgers believes Sturridge, a January signing from Chelsea,

can learn from the desire and defensive commitment Suarez shows for

the Reds.

“For me the striker drives the train, and when you look at the

history of this club, men like Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish and Robbie

Fowler worked incredibly hard,” said Rodgers.

“Luis does that too. He is a great leader, the way he presses up

there. He has an absolutely amazing appetite for the game.

“Daniel’s only just come to the club and it’s a new way of

working for him. But it’s so important because when you don’t have

the pressure up top, the gaps open up.

“He’s only 23 and knows he needs to improve, but he’s a real

receptive boy, and he can’t have anyone better to learn from than


Spurs have spent much of the 2012/13 campaign in and around the

Champions League places, but have work to do if they are to get

over that particular line.

With North London rivals Arsenal breathing down their neck, and

with Merseyside duo Everton and Liverpool still in the hunt,

Villas-Boas knows his side have little margin for error.

He hopes past disappointments will not come back to haunt

Tottenham and concedes that if they were to suffer a late drop down

the standings, it would be difficult to argue that he has taken

things forward.

Villas-Boas, who replaced Harry Redknapp in the White Hart Lane

hot-seat last summer, said: “The circumstances, players, leaders,

training are different. So at this moment, it has nothing to do

with past experiences.

“Obviously it can happen. We have to reflect on it like on the

late goals we suffered this season. The more you work on it the

more you will get out of it. It has happened before, but it doesn’t

mean it will happen again.

“Our ultimate objective is Champions League qualification. If we

don’t achieve it we have to consider what has been achieved this

season as steps forward, which are positive for the club and the

team going forward, bearing in the mind the players the team


“But it’s not up to me to judge. If you want to move forward,

you move forward by qualifying for the Champions League.”