Jurgen Klopp sympathises with Daniel Sturridge after underwhelming display; a slight change in man-management?

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge with manager Juergen Klopp as he is substituted

Klopp had sympathy for his forward after he failed to make a real impact in Liverpool's 0-0 draw with Manchester United.

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge with manager Juergen Klopp as he is substituted

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he sympathised with striker Daniel Sturridge after a disappointing display in last night's 0-0 draw with Manchester United, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Sturridge was substituted close to the hour-mark after having little impact on the game but the comments from Klopp following the game were interesting, as few were arguing with the move to substitute him for Adam Lallana in the second half.

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge in action with Manchester United's Eric Bailly

Klopp is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: “It was a really difficult game for a striker, the way we played it wasn't easy to enjoy for a striker.

“In the first half Phil made a brilliant run and wanted to pass to Daniel but (Sadio) Mane was free on the right."

Certainly Sturridge was a marked man for much of his participation as Eric Bailly proved to be a tough opponent for him to deal with as United's defensive unit as a whole was very structured, organised and well drilled.

As a result, much of the supply lines were cut off and Sturridge did not see an awful lot of the ball, but it was striking just how much he didn't drop deep for the ball. Nevertheless, if there is a lack of service then strikers are not going to thrive. It was the same at both ends as chances were few and far between. 

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge warms up before the match

It's interesting in terms of Klopp's man management of the forward. Normally you would associate an element of tough love with the forward - whether it came to his fitness or with others ahead of him in the pecking order - but this was more of an arm round the shoulder and telling him it just wasn't his night. 

It must be noted that Sturridge has not scored in the league for the Reds so far this season, and only struck twice in an EFL Cup game back in August. Though he has contributed effectively otherwise in games so far this season - notably against Leicester City and Chelsea - goals are what he thrives on and it is in both the player's and the side's interest for him to find the net soon. Maybe it is the explanation for something of a softer approach towards the forward from the Liverpool boss. 

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge comes on as manager Juergen Klopp looks on

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