Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool have missed striker Daniel Sturridge

Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool have missed striker Daniel Sturridge

Published Feb. 1, 2015 6:44 a.m. ET

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his side have been missing Daniel Sturridge's pace and finishing after the striker scored on his return.

The England forward netted for the Reds 10 minutes after coming off the bench for his first appearance in five months, as Liverpool beat West Ham 2-0 to move up to seventh in the Premier League.

Philippe Coutinho set up Sturridge's strike with an excellent run and pass, something Rodgers said his returning striker would be immensely grateful for.

"[A pass like that is] what you want when you've been out for so long," he said.


"He just moved naturally into position, and we've missed that – that pace and that finishing. You've seen him there with 25 minutes and he could have had a couple of goals.

"His first touch was brilliant and that's what he can do. A great finish and it was nice for him to come back and get a goal."

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring at Anfield after Liverpool dominated for the majority of the match.

It took until the second half for them to break the deadlock, and Rodgers believes it was vital they remained patient and didn't become frustrated or tired after a grueling Capital One Cup encounter with Chelsea in midweek.

"That was a very good performance today against a team that is a very difficult team to beat. They've had a wonderful season, West Ham, up until now, but I thought the players were brilliant today on the back of 120 minutes during the week," Rodgers added.

"With West Ham coming into the game fresh we knew they would want to make a quick start and I thought they started well, and we had to ensure that we competed and battled.

"As the first half wore on we started to find the spaces, and the second half I thought we had real good control of the game.

"Against a team that's very well-organized and got good players you have to show that patience, but against West Ham you've [also] got to compete.

"I thought the two center-halves, Sakho and Skrtel were outstanding along with the goalkeeper - anything he had to deal with he dealt with really well. They had to deal with the direct ball up to Andy Carroll, but once they dealt with that we earned the right to play.

"All round it was very good. We spoke at half time about the combinations in and around the edge of the box. It was a brilliant first goal – great technique from all three players involved in the move. Coutinho has two assists today with two great passes."

With transfer deadline day fast approaching the Reds boss was also quizzed on any potential business, but he said: "No, I don't think there will be anything done."