The Liverpool boss insists he is not concerned with the striker's unhappiness at being taken off against Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that he was not bothered by Daniel Sturridge's unhappy reaction at being substituted against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, instead claiming it was a completely normal response from a player keen to remain on the pitch, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
Klopp brought replacement striker Divock Origi on with around 20 minutes to go and when Sturridge saw that it was his number that was up, he looked less than enamoured with his boss' decision.
The start at Anfield was the England striker's ninth club appearance since returning from a two-month injury lay-off, which itself had been preceded by two more spells on the sidelines since the start of the season.
The 26-year-old has failed to complete 90 minutes in any of those matches, although his 71 minutes on Saturday evening was his longest involvement since returning to fitness in early February.
Klopp revealed that his decision to take off Sturridge was one motivated by tactical factors rather than concerns over the striker's fitness, and insisted that he as encouraged rather than disappointed with the player's reaction to his decision.
The German said, according to quotes published in the Liverpool Echo: "I think that [response] is completely normal, especially with the quality of Daniel Sturridge. He has to think ‘leave me on the pitch and I can decide the game’.
"That’s true, but in this moment we need other help in the game. We needed ways behind the line. We needed Divock’s physical strength so I changed. I could have changed Adam Lallana and gone with two strikers. But in my opinion, and only my opinion counts, it didn’t make sense so that’s it.
"I saw that he was not happy because I’m not blind. But that’s not a problem because if he came off and [was happy] something would be really wrong. You have to think ‘yes, I’m the best’. I like this – as long as he doesn’t come off the pitch and do something really strange like kicking me from behind!"
Despite his injury-plagued season, Sturridge has still maintained a reasonable goal return, netting seven times in 15 club appearances in all competitions.
He has also been reintroduced to the England fold by manager Roy Hodgson after missing all four of the autumn Euro 2016 qualifiers through injury, playing 58 minutes of the 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands last week.