Liverpool striker Sturridge thanks old Chelsea teammate Drogba

Daniel Sturridge has thanked former Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba for helping him become mentally stronger, the Daily Mirror has reported, after Sturridge netted the first hat-trick of his senior career as Liverpool recorded a 3-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

Sturridge moved to Anfield from Stamford Bridge in January after failing to break into the Blues team in his favoured position as a striker, often playing in a wider berth with competition from Drogba and Fernando Torres. But after scoring his ninth, 10th and 11th goals of his brief Liverpool career, Sturridge believes he is reaping the benefits of his perseverance – a quality he picked up from Drogba.

At Chelsea, I didn’t play two games in a row as a striker,” Sturridge said. “I didn’t have an opportunity but that’s in the past for me now. I am a lot more peaceful and I’m playing with a clear mind.

Before there were a lot of things going on and mentally it was hard for me. It’s difficult when you do well and then don’t play the next game as you feel, ‘What more can I do?’ But I’m glad all that happened. God made that happen and showed me how I need to be strong mentally.

Sturridge continued: “Being strong mentally is the one thing that can separate you from anyone else. When I worked with Didier Drogba at Chelsea, the one strength he had above everybody was his mental strength.

I learned a lot from working with him about what it takes to be a top player. Hopefully I’ll become one.

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