Jurgen Klopp has no doubts about Daniel Sturridge’s quality but says he has to make decisions that are to the benefit of Liverpool.
The German left Sturridge out of the starting-line up for Thursday night’s Europa League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund, opting to go with Divock Origi instead.
Origi responded to the trust shown in him with the opening goal, with England international Sturridge later coming on as a substitute in the game which ended in a 1-1 draw.
In the aftermath, questions have been asked as to whether Sturridge – who assumed the mantle of Liverpool’s leading striker in the wake of Luis Suarez’s departure – is Klopp’s number-one target man.
But the 48-year-old says it is not a matter of having a preferred striker.
“I am not interested in the things you (the media) think,” he said ahead of today’s game with Stoke. “I make decisions that are not made on who, was, when. How could I? I have no doubt as to the quality of Daniel Sturridge.
“Daniel is doing really well and had no problem when he saw he would not start (against Dortmund). He came in and did his job. We have to leave him to work, and when is on the pitch, give all he has.
“This is nothing about what somebody thought when Suarez left the club, it’s a long time since then. We have a lot of strikers at the club, they all need confidence and faith.”