Daniel Sturridge revealed his pleasure after scoring within seven minutes of his debut for Liverpool, helping them on their way to progression to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
After finally completing his long-awaited transfer to Anfield from Chelsea this week, Sturridge was given 55 minutes to make an impression by Brendan Rodgers and began to pay back some of his transfer fee already with his coolly-taken early strike.
“I enjoyed it very much,” Sturridge told ESPN after the game. “It was my first game for the team, and it was great to get to know my team-mates on the field and to win the game.
“It was a great ball from Jonjo Shelvey and I got on the end of it and put it away. I am disappointed [I didn’t get more goals] but the team played fantastically and showed a lot of character, and I’m delighted with the win.”
The 23-year-old’s goal was added to by the man he would be substituted for, Luis Suarez, before Matt Green’s 79th minute strike for the home side set up a frantic finale that the illustrious visitors would eventually ride out.
Indeed, Liverpool’s captain for the day, Jamie Carragher, echoed Sturridge’s sentiments and praised their non-league opponents for their second-half fightback that almost saw Mansfield grab an unlikely replay.
“We’d have liked to have put it to bed after an early goal, a great goal from Daniel, but that’s what the FA Cup is,” said the veteran defender.
“It was a brilliant game for everyone at home to watch, a bit nervy for our fans and ourselves on the pitch. Coming away from home with a big atmosphere and the pitch, it was going to be a difficult game.
“Credit to them, they were brilliant and their support was brilliant.